Chris Froome stretched his Tour de France lead by two minutes ahead of his nearest rival with an impeccable performance in the stage 11 individual time trial.
Across the flat roads of Normandy and under the shadow of Mont St Michel, he was second, just 12 seconds behind Tony Martin of Germany.
Froome is expected not to worry about the yellow jersey over the next two stages as team mate Mark Cavendish shows his strengths.
Cavendish is seething after an earlier incident in which a spectator threw a bottle of what is thought to be urine over him in retaliation for a clash with a rival competitor yesterday.
Few cycling experts considered Froome would put so much time between himself and his competitors in today’s stage, even though he is a naturally gifted climber, he has shown he can excel at time trials as well.
To put his feat into perspective, few riders have had such a commanding leading so early in the race, and many have won with much less of an advantage.
Of course, the race still has many miles and stages to go and a lot can happen, but Froome is pacing himself immensely well and his Team Sky strategy is definitely leaving him with an advantage.
And many of his rivals must be concerned because his favoured disciplines lie ahead.
Graham Jones, BBC Radio 5 live sports extra commentator was astonished at Froome’s performance.
“Even his team would not have predicted he would take so much time from his rivals today,” said Jones.
“I thought he might have snatched about 90 seconds from Alejandro Valverde, but he easily grabbed more than that.
“Froome’s all-round cycling ability is giving him the edge. As a road racer, he’s not just a climber but he can show very well in the time trials as well.
“Not winning the stage won’t bother him; he is looking at the overall race rather than being disappointed at not winning a specific stage. It’s all about gaining time on your closest competitors and if someone outside that group wins the stage, then no damage is done.”
Stage 11 results:
1. Tony Martin (Germany) 36:29
2. Chris Froome (GB) +12 seconds
3. Thomas De Gendt (Belgium) l +1:01
4. Richie Porte (Australia) +1:21
5. Michal Kwiatkowski (Poland) +1:31
Standings after Stage 11:
1. Chris Froome (GB) 42:29:24
2. Alejandro Valverde (Spain) +3:25
3. Bauke Mollema (Netherlands) +3:37
4. Alberto Contador (Spain) +3:54
5. Roman Kreuziger (Czech Republic) +3:57