Last year's Eneco Tour winner, Iván Gutiérrez (Caisse d'Epargne) started the prologue of the Eneco Tour in the last position wearing number one, but finished first with the fastest time in ProTour event, which started Thursday in the Dutch locality of Sittard. The race runs in the Netherlands and Belgium through August 27.
Gutiérrez, who rode the 4.4 kilometers in 5'31" and won by only 0.39 second over Frenchman Cyril Lemoine, said after the race, "The gap is really a small one but the most important is to be in the lead. I hoped to achieve a good prologue and be the first leader but I was not feeling that good today, and as a consequence it was not easy to win.
"I would like to win the overall ranking this year, too, because I like this race," he said. "I should feel better and better. The Eneco Tour is always a difficult race because the courses of the various stages do favor the breakaways.
"The most important thing for me will be to try not to lose too much time during the week and to do well in the final time trial, which is supposed to suit me very well."
Team Columbia's Norwegian Edvald Boassan Hagen was third, just a half-second behind Gutiérrez. Stage one will run 173.8km from Beek to Roermond on Thursday.
See Cyclingnews' full coverage of the Eneco Tour prologue.