Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel won the prologue time-trial of the ENECO Tour of the Benelux, tearing round the streets of Rotterdam in a time of 4-55.
Former French national time-trial champion Chavanel averaged over 53km/h on the 4.4-kilometre route, thought to be a dry run for the 2010 Tour de France prologue.
Having gone off in the middle of the pack, the Quick Step man had a nervous wait, as Vattenfall Cyclassics winner Tyler Farrar and team-mate Tom Boonen both came within a second of bettering his mark.
Back in the saddle and racing competitively again after a three-week break, Bradley Wiggins finished in fourth place, just two seconds down on Chavanel. Though his condition is unknown, this eight-day stage race undoubtedly suits the Garmin rider.
Defending champion and last man off Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Caisse d’Epargne) clocked 5-01 to finish just outside of the top ten.
>> Subscribe to Cycling Weekly this Autumn and save 35%. Enjoy the luxury of home delivery and never miss an issue <<
ENECO Tour Prologue: Rotterdam-Rotterdam, 4.4km
1. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step 4-55
2. Tyler Farrar (Usa) Garmin-Slipstream at 1sec
3. Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step
4. Bradley Wiggins (Gbr) Garmin-Slipstream at 2secs
5. Joost Posthuma (Ned) Rabobank
6. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas at 4secs
7. Juan Antonio Flecha (Spa) Rabobank
8. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Columbia-HTC at 5secs
9. Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank
10. Nikolas Maes (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator at same time