Italian Danilo di Luca made a late burst to win the first stage of the Tour of the Basque Country on Monday.
Di Luca was well supported by his team-mates in Spain
Di Luca's Liquigas team controlled the latter part of the 133km race, which began and finished in Zarautz, allowing him to sprint home with 100m to go.
The Italian held off a fast-finishing Miguel Angel Perdiguero and Alejandro Valverde to win in three hours, 10 minutes and 51 seconds.
The race, which is part of the ProTour series, ends on the 8 April.
Ivan Mayoz and Carlos Zarate had staged an early breakaway but the Spanish duo were reeled in by the peloton with less than 20km left.
The field spread out on the ascent up the Alto de Garate but the Liquigas team grouped together to launch Di Luca to victory.
Another event on the ProTour series, the Ghent-Wevelgem race, gets underway on Wednesday.
Italian Alessandro Petacchi currently tops the overall standings of the 27-leg competition.
Stage one results:
1. Danilo Di Luca (Italy / Liquigas) 3:10:51"
2. Miguel Angel Martin Perdiguero (Spain / Phonak)
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spain / Illes Balears)
4. Jerome Pineau (France / Bouygues Telecom)
5. Damiano Cunego (Italy / Lampre - Caffita)
6. David Etxebarria (Spain / Liberty Seguros)
7. Michael Boogerd (Netherlands / Rabobank)
8. Constantino Zaballa (Spain / Saunier Duval)
9. Matthias Kessler (Germany / T-Mobile)
10. Michael Rogers (Australia / Quick-Step)