Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) won the Giro d'Italia's opening time trial and pulled on the maglia rosa in Amsterdam but world champion Cadel Evans and his BMC team were also celebrating a successful day.
The USA's Brent Bookwalter was a surprise second, just two seconds behind Wiggins, and Evans finished third, also at two seconds, a few hundredths of a second slower than his teammate. The Australian was the best of the true overall contenders, gaining three seconds on Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) but a much more significant 21 seconds on Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Doimo) and 23 seconds on Carlos Sastre (Cervélo TestTeam).
"That's not a bad start," Evan said immediately after his ride.
"My form was pretty good in the Ardennes classics but I hope to get even better towards the end of the race. We'll see. This is the first test.
"I rode quite conservatively in the corners because I didn't expect to be fighting for the win. Maybe if I had taken some risks, I might have cut a half a second off here or there. I'm really happy for Brent. It's a really good start for him and a great introduction into his first Grand Tour."
Bookwalter had the fastest time for almost two hours and had to sit and wait as the other riders tried to beat him. Only when Wiggins stopped the clock in 10:18, two seconds faster than his time of 10:20, could he finally ride back to the BMC bus. However he will back in the spotlight on Monday because with Wiggins in pink, he will wear the red points jersey.
"It's really a pleasant surprise," he said. "It was a fairly technical, short, violent effort, which I think suits me well. In the United States, I've always been pretty good in the five to 15 km distance. I'm not super tested at that distance over here but I was motivated to do a good time for the team GC and also to do a good time so Cadel could get good time checks."