David Zabriskie secured a sensational solo win in the 11th stage of the Tour of Spain to Caravaca de la Cruz.
Zabriskie held on for a famous win
The US Postal rider came home after 160km on his own out front in a time of four hours five minutes and 31 seconds.
Alessandro Petacchi took second in a mass sprint from Stuart O'Grady, one minute and 11 seconds back.
Spain's Alejandro Valverde endured a heavy fall early in the stage but remains second, nine seconds behind another US Postal man, Floyd Landis.
Zabriskie, the American national time trial champion, broke free from the field after just three kilometres and enjoyed a cushion of 20 minutes at one stage.
Although the peloton put up a furious chase he had just enough in the tank to hold on for the biggest win of his career.
Valverde, who had been tipped for victory as the Vuelta raced through his home province, suffered several minor injuries but was shepherded home by his Kelme team-mates.
The Spaniard will be grateful for Wednesday's rest day to help his recuperation before the race resumes on Thursday with a testing 150km mountain stage between Almeria and the arduous climb to Calar de Alto - a peak they have to conquer twice.
Stage 11 results:
1. David Zabriskie (USA) US Postal 4hrs 5mins 31secs
2. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bartolo @ 1min 11secs
3. Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Cofidis @ same time
4. Marco Zanotti (Ita) Vini Caldirola @ same time
5. Erik Zabel (Ger) T-Mobile @ same time
6. Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Vini Caldirola @ same time
7. Jorge Ferrio (Spa) Costa de Almeria @ same time
8. Erki Putsep (Est) A2R @ same time
9. Aitor Perez (Spa) Cafe Baque @ same time
10. Antonio Cruz (USA) US Postal @ same time
1. Floyd Landis (USA) US Postal 40hrs 30mins 33secs
2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Kelme @ nine seconds
3. Francisco Mancebo (Spa) Illes Balears Banesto @ 29secs
4. Isidro Nozal (Spa) Liberty Seguros @ 32secs
5. Roberto Heras (Spa) Liberty Seguros @ 47secs
6. Manuel Beltran (Spa) US Postal @ 59secs
7. Carlos Sastre (Spa) Team CSC @ 1min 35secs
8. Denis Menchov (Rus) Illes Balears Banesto @ 2mins 42secs
9. Aitor Gonzalez (Spa) Fassa Bartolo @ 2mins 50secs
10. Angel Gomez (Spa) Costa de Almeria @ 4mins 16secs