The Vuelta a Castilla y León show went on for Astana without Lance Armstrong on Tuesday, as the squad claimed the race lead with a one, two finish on the Palencia individual time trial. Levi Leipheimer's stage win gives him a 16 second lead over Spanish teammate Alberto Contador while fellow American David Zabriskie (Garmin-Slipstream) sits in third spot.
It was Leipheimer's second time trial victory of the season, following his win at the Tour of California. "It was a good time trial for me, especially as it was always straight," he said. "However, it was hard. There was a lot of wind and you could never recover. You had to push all the time, but as always in time trials I finished very strong.
Leipheimer is cautiously optimism about defending the race lead, with Contador saying he'd help the rider whose services will be called upon by the Spaniard in the upcoming Grand Tours. "I would like to win the race but it will be very difficult because the rest of the riders will be very aggressive now," he said. "We are number one and two now so they will really want to beat us."
Read Cyclingnews'full coverage of stage two.