Dutch cyclist Tom Dumoulin seized the lead at the Giro d'Italia with a win in the opening day’s prologue time-trial – in front of his home crowd.
The first three stages of this year’s Tour of Italy are being held in the Netherlands and Dumolin was fastest over the 9.8k circuit in Apledoom on Friday.
The Giant-Alpecin man clocked 11.03 to win by one one hundredth of a second from Slovenia's Primoz Roglic of the LottoNL-Jumbo team.
Andrey Amador was third while Germany's big-hitter Marcel Kittel (Etixx-QuickStep) was fifth, 11 seconds behind, while Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo) was eighth.
Ireland has two riders in the race, Nicholas Roche and Philip Deignan and both of the Team Sky riders remained in good shape.
Roche finished in 32nd place, 30 seconds down with Deignan in 108th, 50 seconds off the leader.
Swiss Cancellara, who is retiring at the end of the year, was among the pre-stage favourites, alongside Dumoulin, but was 14 seconds adrift, as the Dutchman claimed the leader's pink jersey.
"I'm a very lucky man today. I realise how narrowly I've won by," said Dumoulin, who finished a disappointing fourth when the 2015 Tour de France began with a time-trial in Utrecht.
"It was a lot of suffering, especially at the end of the course. I'm actually feeling sick with a stomach bug but I'm also so, so happy I did it.
"I didn't do my best time-trial today but also not my worst one. I would have liked to go a bit faster but only the result counts and winning here in the Netherlands is so special."
Italy's Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), the favourite to finish with the pink jersey in Turin, was 19 seconds behind, taking valuable seconds' advantage over his rivals for overall glory on May 29.
Tour de France favourites Alberto Contador, Nairo Quintana, Chris Froome and Thibaut Pinot are skipping the race as they will be targeting medals at the Rio Olympics in August shortly after the conclusion of the Tour.