Martin cruised through the lumpy 36.7km test against the clock in 47 minutes and two seconds, 15 seconds ahead of second-placed Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and 18 seconds quicker than third-placed Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing).
Disaster struck for race leader Nairo Quintana (Movistar) on a descent, as he crashed into a barrier at the side of a sweeping corner. Obviously stunned, Quintana took several minutes to mount a new bike and finished 4-07 down on stage winner Martin and well over three minutes down on GC rival Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo).
Contador now rises to the top of the overall classification after putting in a strong ride to finish fourth on the stage, dispelling any lingering thought that he is still troubled by injury after crashing out of the Tour de France.
Other riders to benefit from strong rides were Uran and Winner Anacona (Lampre-Merida). Uran’s performance pushes him up to third overall behind Contador and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), whilst Anacona’s surprise ride elevates him to fourth.
British hope Chris Froome (Sky) put in a below-expected ride to finish 10th on the stage, but still sits fifth in the overall classification, now 1-18 behind Contador. Froome said that he’d started too hard and faded towards the end of the stage.
“I definitely started out too fast,” Froome said via the Sky team’s website. “For the first 15 minutes I felt fantastic and I think I chased it a little much. By the time I hit the climb I started to really feel the effort of the fast start and I paid the price for the rest of the time trial.
“I think anyone who races and knows that feeling of starting out too fast, and how hard it is to come back from being in the red, will know what I’m talking about. It’s a horrible feeling and I had to just try to hold on to it and finish the best I could.”
Vuelta a Espana 2014, stage 10: Real Monasterio de Santa María de Veruela to Borja
1. Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma-QuickStep
2. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Omega Pharma-QuickStep at 15 secs
3. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek Factory Racing at 18 secs
4. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo at 39 secs
5. Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing at 48 secs
6. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing at 49 secs
7. Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Sky at 57 secs
8. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 1-00
9. Jesse Sergent (NZl) Trek Factory Racing at 1-13
10. Chris Froome (GBr) Sky at 1-32
Overall classification after stage 10
1. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo in 36-45-49
2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 27 secs
3. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Omega Pharma-QuickStep at 59 secs
4. Winner Anacona (Col) Lampre-Merida at 1-12
5. Chris Froome (GBr) Sky at 1-18
6. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha at 1-37
7. Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing at 1-41
8. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 2-27
9. Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin at 2-38
10. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale at 2-59
Nairo Quintana takes overall lead as Chris Froome loses time to key rivals