Quick Step bounced back from the worst week in their history with a team time trial win on Doha's Al Corniche road in the Tour of Qatar.
While former rider Johan Museeuw and team manager Patrick Lefevre are embroiled in separate scandals back home, the riders made no secret of their desire to defend Tom Boonen's Tour of Qatar title, riding in tight formation around the windy Bay of Doha to finish five seconds in front of Milram.
Liquigas were third a further two seconds back. Quick Step domestique Steven De Jongh (pictured) was first across the line, giving him the leader's yellow jersey.
On the podium, Tom Boonen pointed at the logo on his jersey, then gave a thumbs-up signal to the press photographers. If Quick Step have been damaged by the recent scandal in Belgium, it hasn't shown in their riding.
Stage two, 135 kilometres from Al Wakra to Doha, will pit Boonen against Alessandro Petacchi for the first time head to head in a sprint since early 2006, before the Italian injured his knee at the 2006 Giro d'Italia.
Tour of Qatar: Top 10 after stage one
1 Steven De Jongh (Hol) Quick Step6-33
2 Wilfried Cretskens (Bel) Quick Stepst
3 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Stepst
4 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Quick Stepst
5 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Quick Stepst
6 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Milramat 5sec
7 Marco Velo (Ita) Milramst
8 Alessandro Cortinovis (Ita) Milramst
9 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Milramst
10 Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Milramst
1 Quick Step-Innergetic6-33
2 Milramat 5sec
3 Liquigasat 7sec
4 Predictor-Lottoat 9sec
5 T-Mobileat 11sec
6 Ag2r Prévoyanceat 11sec
7 Astanaat 13sec
8 Rabobankat 14sec
9 Saunier Duval-Prodirat 14sec
10 Bouygues Telecomeat 16sec
11 Skil-Shimanoat 16sec
12 Gerolsteinerat 18sec
13 Chocolade Jacquesat 21sec
14 Agritubelat 32sec
15 Gunn-Newlyn-M. Donnellyat36sec
16 Doha Teamat 45sec
17 Iranat 55sec
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Edward Pickering is a writer and journalist, editor of Pro Cycling and previous deputy editor of Cycle Sport. As well as contributing to Cycling Weekly, he has also written for the likes of the New York Times. His book, The Race Against Time, saw him shortlisted for Best New Writer at the British Sports Book Awards. A self-confessed 'fair weather cyclist', Pickering also enjoys running.
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