Michael Morkov of Saxo-Tinkoff recorded the biggest win of his career on Thursday when the Danish rider won stage six of the Tour of Spain.
But it was Tony Martin who dominated the 175 kilometre trek to Caceres.
The German world time trial champion put in a long hard training session ahead of his upcoming title defence in Florence next month by launching an attack as soon as the flag dropped.
At one point Martin had built up a lead of seven and a half minutes over the main bunch that included race leader Vincenzo Nibali.
The Orica-GreenEdge and Belkin teams took charge of the peloton and when joined by Argos-Shimano they started to reel in the surprise front runner.
In a cruel finish for the German a small group overtook him with a mere one hundred metres to the line.
Morkov went on to claim the stage win while Argentine Maximiliano Ariel Richeze took second and former world time trial champion Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland crossed over in third with Martin down in seventh.
Overall Italian Nibali holds a slender three second lead over American Christopher Horner and eight second lead over Ireland’s Nicolas Roche ahead of Friday’s stage seven – a 205.9km ride from Almendralejo to Mairena de Aljafare.