It's good to have Marcel Kittel back to his best after a rough 2015 season, but you already get the impression that in any race where he's competing the rest of the best are fighting for second.
A couple of weeks ago at the Dubai Tour it was Mark Cavendish who looked off the pace in the head-to-heads, and overnight at the Volta ao Algarve it was Andre Greipel's turn.
Kittel (Etixx-QuickStep) sprinted to victory in the opening stage of the Portuguese race, his third win this month after two and the overall at Dubai.
The German beat compatriot Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) to the line after the 164km ride to Albufeira.
Though Kittel is unlikely to hold it as the race progresses, he now leads the early general classification. The bonus seconds on offer for the winner put him four seconds clear of Greipel and six ahead of Jasper Stuyven (Trek Segafredo), who was third on the day.
“It wasn’t an easy day, and we were aware of that, but we took it as a challenge, because we wanted to prove that we can win also on such a finish," Kittel said.
"We stayed calm, came at the front before the last roundabout, and it all worked well in the end.
"My goal in Algarve was to take a stage and I did it against a quality field, which is very important for my confidence. Now, the team will be more relaxed, will take things day by day and we’ll see if we will get another shot at a win”.