Paolo Savoldelli got the defence of his Giro d'Italia title off to the perfect start, winning Saturday's first stage.
Savoldelli will wear the pink jersey after his opening win
The Italian captain of the Discovery Channel team claimed the 6.2km time trial around the Belgium city of Seraing in seven minutes 50 seconds.
Australian Bradley McGee finished 11 seconds adrift, with Spain's Jose Enrique Gutierrez and German Stefan Schumacher sharing third.
The three-week race moves to Italy on Wednesday after the first four stages.
Italian title favourite Ivan Basso finished 23 seconds off Savoldelli's pace with Jan Ullrich, who is recovering from a knee injury, 49 seconds behind.
Savoldelli will wear the leader's pink jersey for Sunday's 197km second stage from Mons to Charleroi.
Results from stage one of the Giro d'Italia:
1. Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Discovery Channel 7min 50sec
2. Bradley McGee (Aus) @ 11secs
3. Jose Enrique Gutierrez (Spa) @ 13secs
4. Stefan Schumacher (Ger) same time
5. Serhiy Honchar (Ukr) @ 15secs
6. Francisco Perez (Spa) @ 16secs
7. Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Spa) same time
8. Michael Rogers (Aus) @ 17secs
9. Davide Rebellin (Ita) @ 18secs
10. Danilo di Luca (Ita) @ 19secs