Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins took the lead in the Tour of Britain after a rain-soaked time trial through Cheshire's Knowsley Safari park on Tuesday.
The Team Sky leader finished the 16 kms course in 19.54 minutes with team mate and fellow-Briton Ian Stannard 32 seconds behind.
Wiggins, who lay in 12th place overall before the stage began, shrugged off any effects from a fall on Monday's stage in the Lake District.
He will defend the race leader's golden jersey as the Tour winds from Stoke-on-Trent into Wales on Wednesday and in the remaining four days of racing.
New Zealander Jack Bauer of the Garmin-Sharp team was third on the stage, 42 seconds behind, which propels him into the same position in the overall classification.
(Writing by Oliver Haill in London; Editing by John Mehaffey)