Britain?s David Millar took a narrow victory over Switzerlands?s Fabian Cancellara in Saturday?s time trial in the Tour of Spain.
Riding on a hilly 33 kilometre course which included a third category climb and a tricky descent to the finish in Cuenca, the Saunier Duval-Prodir rider finished just fractions of a second ahead of Cancellara and five second up on Kazakh Alexandre Vinokourov (Astaná).
It was Millar?s first victory – and Britain?s first in the ProTour – since he returned to professional bike racing after completing a ban for using EPO . The Scot made a slowish start, and was 10 seconds behind Cancellara at the first checkpoint after nine kilometres and 11 seconds down at the summit of the Alto de Castillo.
But Millar then turned on the power on the fast descent back into Cuenca, to take one of his closest ever wins.
Overall, the time trial confirmed Alejandro Valverde?s gc lead, and he limited his losses to Vinokourov: 13 seconds faster than his closest rival overall, Andrei Kashechkin (Astana) in the time trial, the Spaniard now has an advantage of 48 seconds on the Kazakh and 1-25 on Carlos Sastre of CSC.
?The toughest part of the Vuelta is yet to come, though.? Valverde commented. ?And we all saw that Vinokourov is going to be my toughest rival. Today I took another big step forward, but there?s a long way to go yet.?