Mark Cavendish led his HTC-Columbia team mates home in first place under the floodlights in Seville last night to claim the Tour of Spain's leader's red jersey.
Saxo Bank, led by the Schleck brothers Andy and Frank, were favourites to take the prologue, a team time trial.
But it was Cav and his crew who clocked the best time, covering the 13km stage in a time of 14 minutes and six seconds, ahead of Liquigas-Doimo and Saxo Bank, whose riders came home at intervals.
Meanwhile Team Sky, including Peter Kennaugh on his first grand tour outing, put on a disappointing display, finishing in 14th place - 28 seconds adrift of the leaders.
Cav will be hoping to hang on to the red jersey today, as the riders tackle the first stage proper, a 173km route from Alcalá de Guadaíra to Marbella.