CCC Sprandi rider Maciej Paterski was the surprise winner of the first stage at the Volta a Catalunya, emerging victorious from a three-man breakaway that spent around 130km ahead of the race.
As part of the break with Bart de Clercq (Lotto-Soudal) and Pierre Rolland (Europcar), Paterski gained 2min 40s on the peloton who could not drag the escapees back.
With 20km to the finish the trio had an advantage of over seven minutes, but as if the chasers suddenly realised their error they clawed back almost four of those minutes by the final kilometre.
At one stage it looked as if the winner of the stage would all but wrap up the overall win, such was their time advantage over the peloton, but the strong chase in the final stages ensured the race remains alive.
De Clercq opened up the sprint to the finish line but was overcome by Rolland and Paterski, with the Pole holding off the Frenchman for the win.
Coming straight from a 22nd-place finish at Milan-San Remo on Sunday the CCC rider showed the rate of his recovery by powering to victory in Calella.
Volta a Catalunya stage one (191km)
1. Maciej Paterski (POL) CCC Sprandi 4-33-41
2. Pierre Rolland (FRA) Europcar s.t.
3. Bart de Clercq (BEL) Lotto-Soudal at 2sec
4. Tosh van der Sande (BEL) Lotto-Soudal at 2m 40
5. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA) Etixx-Quick-Step s.t.
6. Paolo Tiralongo (ITA) Astana s.t.
7. Enrico Gasparotto (ITA) Wanty-Groupe Gobert s.t.
8. Bryan Coquard (FRA) Europcar s.t
9. Carlos Barbero (ESP) Caja Rural-Seguros s.t.
10. Julien Simon (FRA) Cofidis s.t.