Australian star Caleb Ewan was caught out of position as Irish champion Sam Bennett released a massive pressure valve in claiming stage one of the Tour Down Under in a thrilling sprint finish.
Ewan had started the week in strong form, taking out the Schwalbe Classic warm-up, but was stuck too far back at Tanunda on Tuesday and finished seventh.
Bennett (Deceuninck Quick-Step) marked his first appearance in his new colours by narrowly beating Jasper Philipsen (UAE Team Emirates) across the line to salute in the 150km stage.
A five-time stage winner on Grand Tours, Bennett added his name to a list of decorated sprinters to represent Deceuninck Quick-Step when he joined the team last month.
The Irishman's predecessors included Mark Cavendish, Marcel Kittel, Fernando Gaviria and Elia Viviani.
Bennett took advantage of brilliant support work by his new teammates, in particular Shane Archbold and Michael Morkov.
"I did feel the pressure today and it's really, really nice to get it (his first win) early," Bennett said.
"The only mistake made today was by myself because I left it too late and the guys got the jump on me and I found it hard to get the wheel back in front."
"It was definitely a result due to the team's effort.
"Everybody did a fantastic job today and the lead-out was perfect.
"They took it up really early, controlled the front and just did a perfect job."
Erik Baska (Bora-Hansgrohe) was third and Italian sprint king Viviani (Cofidis) fourth.
German veteran Andre Greipel (Israel Start-Up Nation) was fifth, unable to add to his record 18 Tour Down Under stage wins.
Ewan couldn't hide his disappointment after a tactical glitch.
"We were just a little bit too far back when it mattered," he said.
"We were always in good position and when we needed to be in good position, we weren't.
"That's racing sometimes, but we'll debrief it and see where we went wrong and see where we can improve for the next few days."
Tuesday's stage in the Barossa Valley marked the beginning of the UCI World Tour calendar.
It was ridden in ideal conditions that made life much easier for riders than in the usual scorching temperatures in South Australia throughout January.
Stage two is the first in the Adelaide Hills region that was devastated by recent bushfires, running over 135.8km from Woodside to Stirling.
Australian Associated Press