Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins produced a stunning display as he destroyed his main rivals to win the stage four time trial at the Criterium du Dauphine to extend his overall advantage.
And on another stellar day for the team in the traditional Tour de France warm-up, Michael Rogers was third, Chris Froome sixth, Kanstantsin Siutsou 14th and Edvald Boasson Hagen 17th, all combining for an emphatic lead in the team classification.
Sporting the leader's yellow skinsuit, Wiggins was the last man off in the 53.5 kilometres test against the clock from Villie-Morgon to Bourg-en-Bresse.
And he paced his effort perfectly - third fastest at the first intermediate check after 18km before powering over the second mark 36 seconds to the good and maintaining the momentum to cross the line in one hour, three minutes and 12 seconds for an average speed of over 50km/h.
That was 34 seconds in front of world time trial champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), with Rogers taking third, 1:11 back.
Reigning Tour de France champion Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) was eighth, 1:43 adrift, and it's all seen a dramatic shake-up on the general classification.
Wiggins leads the overall standings by 38 seconds from Martin, with Rogers at 1:20, Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) fourth on 1:38 and Evans fifth at 1:44, with three tough stages of the Dauphine still to negotiate.
Day to remember
The time trial could hardly have gone better though, with stage three winner Boasson Hagen one of the first riders to put down a marker as he found only prologue hero Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEDGE) quicker among the early starters.
Siutsou then nudged his team-mate down a spot as he clocked 1:05:40 before Froome and three time world time trial champion Rogers took over, the latter setting the fastest time at the second check after 40km before stopping the finish line clock in 1:04:23 for the best of the day so far.
That stood until Martin, the man who currently wears the TT rainbow bands, knocked 37 seconds off it to move into pole position.
But Wiggins was flying out on the course and even had Evans, who had started two minutes ahead of him, within sight in the closing stages.
The Briton crossed the line 34 seconds in hand of Martin to assume command of the overall standings as he seeks to defend his Dauphine title.
Race of truth
Afterwards he was understandably happy with both the performance and the result, saying: "It was a solid time trial for everyone today, there was no way of bluffing it or fluking it. It was a real test in the conditions.
"It’s just nice to be out there in that discipline after all the training we've spent on the time trial bike over the winter and in the last few weeks.
"To beat the world champion is a big thing as I’ve not finished ahead of Tony many times in the past. I beat him at Algarve at the start of the season but that was by milliseconds so to do it by a clear margin this time is a huge satisfaction."
Wiggins was also keen to credit Martin for helping push him to new heights, adding: "We’ve been chasing Tony for a long time – he raised the bar at the World Championship last year so that was a starting point for us; to work towards trying to get close to him.
"It's by no means going to be the same every time trial we do from now on but it’s something nice to show the kids when they are older!"
One step at a time
However Wiggins was quick to play down the significance of the result in terms of the Tour de France, with the penultimate stage in road cycling's biggest event featuring a time trial over exactly the same distance this year.
He said: "I don’t think you can look into it too much. It’s six weeks now until the final TT at the Tour and that’s a long time - a lot can change in time trials.
"It’s not a formguide for the Tour, it’s just how you happened to go on one particular day but it's definitely a nice position to be in."
That was echoed by Sports Director Sean Yates who was full of admiration for Wiggins' efforts, but keen not to get carried away.
He told us: "The display from him today was out of the top drawer and worthy of all the praise that comes his way.
"He came into the race looking to get GC and the team has been backing him superbly to this point; then on a day like today it’s up to him to deliver, which is exactly what he did and in quite outstanding fashion. It was a great performance.
"He had a plan, stuck to it and the result is there for all to see but we’ve got to keep our feet on the ground."