Germany's Stefan Schumacher pipped US cyclist George Hincapie to win the prologue stage of the Tour of Benelux.
It was Schumacher's fifth win of the year
Riding for Gerolsteiner, Schumacher covered 6.1km in exactly seven minutes to claim his fifth win of the year.
Hincapie finished second, level on time with home favourite Joost Posthuma at Dan Helder, Holland.
"It's great to beat several time-trial specialists, but I'm not surprised - I'm in good form and will do my best to win overall," said Schumacher
World champion Tom Boonen finished fifth, four seconds behind the German with defending champion Bobby Julich down in 15th place.
Thursday's first stage covers 176km between Wieringerwerf and Hoogeveen.
Tour of Benelux prologue:
1. Stefan Schumacher (Ger) seven minutes
2. George Hincapie (US) +1 second
3. Joost Posthuma (Ned) same time
4. Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Spa) +2secs
5. Tom Boonen (Bel) +4secs
6. Manuel Quinziato (Ita) +5secs
7. Alexei Markov (Rus) same time
8. Nick Nuyens (Bel) same time
9. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) +8secs
10. Thomas Dekker (Ned) same time