1. Laurent Jalabert (Fra, ONCE) 3.23.40 (49.257 km/h) 2. Giovanni Lombardi (Ita, POLTI) 3. Fabio Baldato (Ita, MG) 4. Steffen Wesemann (Ger, TELEKOM) 5. Dimitri Konyshev (Rus, AKI) 6. Massimo Apollonio (Ita, SCRIGNO) 7. Sergej Smetnanine (Rus, SANTA CLARA) 8. Bert Dietz (Ger, TELEKOM) 9. Juergen Werner (Ger, TELEKOM) 10. Davide Rebellin (Ita, POLTI) 11. Bobby Julich (USA, MOTOROLA) 12. Angelo Canzonieri (Ita, SAECO) 13. Jeroen Blijlevens (HOL, TVM) 14. Gerd Audehm (Ger, TELEKOM) 15. Roberto Pistore (Ita, MG) . 26. Alex Zuelle (Sui, ONCE) 27. Laurent Dufaux (Sui, FESTINA) . . 42. Miguel Indurain (Esp, BANESTO) all s.t. . 69. Mauro Gianetti (Sui, POLTI) + 7.23 . 109. Tony Rominger (Sui, MAPEI) s.t.
1. Laurent Jalabert (Fra, ONCE) 12.11.20 2. Fabio Baldato (Ita, MG) + 0.05 3. Giovanni Lombardi (Ita, POLTI) + 0.10 4. Juergen Werner (Ger, TELEKOM) + 0.17 5. Steffen Wesemann (Ger, TELEKOM) + 0.22 6. Dimitri Konyshev (Rus, AKI) 7. Bobby Julich (USA, MOTOROLA) 8. Laurent Dufaux (Sui, FESTINA) 9. Angelo Canzonieri (Ita, SAECO) 10. Juan Arenas (Esp, 11. Roberto Pistore (Ita, MG) 13. Jeroen Blijlevens (Hol, TVM) 14. Luca Pavanello (Ita, AKI) all s.t. . . 16. Miguel Indurain (Esp, BANESTO) + 0.27 . 34. Alex Zuelle (Sui, ONCE) + 0.28 . 48. Georg Totschnig (Aust,POLTI) s.t.
Barely 17 kilometres from the start, the ONCE team broke away on the descent from the bare and windy Tordiga summit and were never caught over the remaining 150km, despite some early opposition from Spanish Olympic champion Miguel Indurain and Italian Stafano Zanini.
The Frenchman crossed the line in front following a sprint finish.
"My win proves that a quality cyclist does not lose his value in a single race," said Jalabert, referring to his retirement this year from the Tour de France.
The stage was also marked by a dramatic pile up of cyclists at the 130km mark, believed to have been caused when a peleton member was blown off his bicycle by the strong winds, and which resulted in the withdrawal of Portugeuse Vitor Gamito due to injury.
Jalabert gained over seven minutes on three-times winner Tony Rominger and Spanish hopeful Fernando Escartin as his ONCE team led a group of thirty riders who broke away from the pack early in the wind-affected 184 km stage across the Castilian plains from Cuenca.
Among those left behind was former race leader Biagio Conte.
Of the pre-race favourites only ONCE team mate Alex Zulle and local hero Miguel Indurain, helped by three other Banesto riders, could keep up the pace.
``I think we surprised everybody by moving early, but rounding it off by winning the sprint was fantastic,'' said Jalabert, who had been fifth overall after being pipped at the post in Sunday's sprint.
The Frenchman was not to be outdone this time and timed his move perfectly to catch Italian sprinter Fabio Baldato just 10 metres from the line.
A ceremony was held ahead of the stage to open a sports complex in Cuenca bearing the name of the late Spanish rider Luis Ocana, winner of the 1973 Tour de France.
With part of the Mediterranean coast bracing itself for the arrival of late summer storms, wind and possibly rain could again play a part as the Tour continues on Tuesday with another largely flat stage over 160 km from Albacete to Murcia.