(AFP) – Slovenia's Primoz Roglic grabbed hold of the leader's yellow jersey at the Tour of the Basque Country with Thursday's victory in the 19.4-kilometre time trial on stage four.
Roglic completed the circuit around Lodosa in 22 minutes and 26 seconds, finishing nine seconds clear of New Zealand's BMC rider Patrick Bevin and 11 ahead of Belarusian Vasil Kiryienka of Team Sky.
"I knew that all eyes were on me as a pursuer in the GC and as a time-trial specialist. That provided extra pressure," Roglic said.
"It was a flat time trial, but there was a lot of wind. At the finish I saw that I had the fastest time, which made me very happy of course."
Former ski jumper Roglic, second on both of the opening two stages, wrested away the race lead from Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe who surrendered 42 seconds after coming home in eighth place.
Friday's penultimate fifth stage takes the peloton along a 163km route from Vitoria to Eibar, with a pair of category two climbs before the category one ascent of the Azurki.