Crossing first across the line for his Rabobank team gave Lars Boom the overall lead in the Tirreno-Adriatico after the Dutch based squad won the opening teams time-trial.
Starting first, Rabobank posted a time 18 minutes and 8 seconds over the 16.8-km loop, with Garmin-Cervelo following at 9 seconds and HTC-Highroad rounding out the top three 1 second later.
The time-trial win continues Rabobanks hot run of form after the posted several winning early season results, including a surprising ride against the clock by team leader Robert Gesink at the Tour of Oman.
Gesink is Rabobank's leader at the Tirreno-Adriatico and while not in the blue jersey he now holds the white as the best young rider.
"It’s a great achievement for a team like this. It’s not about the few guys who can do the really good pull, but it’s about the total. It’s the first time I win [in] a team time trial,” said Gesink. “It’s really special to be a part of it.”
"We are on a winning streak now but anything can happen between now and Tuesday."
For Garmin-Cervelo it was a good result even after Commonwealth Games time trial champion David Millar failed to start due to the flu. But the time trialing depth of the squad saw him replaced by another specialist against the clock, David Zabriskie.
"The guys did a good effort. They were a little tentative in the first three kilometres, but they were flying in the last five or six," said Garmin-Cervelo's principal Jonathan Vaughters.
The surprise of the day was the performance of Leopard Trek - expected to post a much better result with World Time-Trail champion Fabian Cancellara in their ranks.
The Luxembourg squad saw riders drop off the pace, as Cancellara, who was clearly their strongest during the ride, attemped to pull the team along in his wake - the effort saw them finish 29 seconds behind Rabobank.
“We have to appreciate the effort from the other teams,” said Sports Director Torsten Schmidt. “We lost a little bit too early. We lost the teammates too early. We are looking ahead and keeping morale. We are looking to fight. That’s what I told the boys on the bus. They know today wasn’t super, but we are ready to keep fighting.
“Everybody tried their best and gave their best for the team. We respect this. In a team time trial, if it’s not 100%, you’re quick to lose seconds to the fastest team,” Schmidt concluded.
Tomorrow's second stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico is a 202 km run between Carrara to Indicatore.
Stage 1: 16.8km TTT, Marina di Carrara.
1 Rabobank 0:18:08, 2 Garmin-Cervelo 0:00:09, 3 HTC-Highroad 0:00:10, 4 Saxo Bank-SunGard 0:00:11, 5 Liquigas-Cannondale 0:00:22, 6 BMC 0:00:26, 7 Leopard-Trek 0:00:29, 8 RadioShack 0:00:30, 9 Sky 0:00:33, 10 Lampre-ISD 0:00:39, 11 Omega Pharma-Lotto 0:00:41, 12 Acqua&Sapone 0:00:47, 13 Movistar 0:00:51, 14 Vacansoleil-DCM, 15 Astana, 16 Katusha 0:00:53, 17 Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli 0:00:55, 18 AG2R-La Mondiale 0:00:57, 19 Quick Step 0:01:08, 20 Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:01:13.