Milan- Italian Damiano Caruso pulled on the race leader's blue jersey at the Tirreno-Adriatico race Wednesday after a record time-trial win for BMC in the opening stage of the 'Race of the Two Seas'.
Caruso crossed the line first for the American outfit as they completed the 22.7km race against the clock in a time of 23min 21sec.
With an average speed of 58.239 kph over the course, held at the Lido di Camaiore on the Ligurian coast, BMC smashed their own previously-held race record of 56.947kph set last year.
Belgian outfit Quick Step finished second at 16secs in arrears with Spanish team Movistar 21 behind.
For Caruso it was hardly a surprise, given the addition of speed kings Rohan Dennis of Australia and Swiss specialist Stefan Kung to their line-up.
"Most of us are time-trial specialists," said Caruso. "We won like last year but faster than last year because we have two new riders in the team, Stefan Kung and Rohan Dennis who are really fast against the clock."
Dennis, who sits second overall, is a former world record holder in track cycling's hour event and holds the record at the Tour de France for the fastest average speed in an individual time-trial (55.446 kph).
Caruso added: "They made the difference today, compared to last year. In the end, I was first over the line, which enables me to wear the leader's jersey -- it's a great honour.
"Racing at home in Italy with that jersey will be special. We'll see how far I can go with it, although we're also racing for our leader Tejay van Garderen."
Stage two is a mammoth 228 km race over undulating terrain from Camaiore to Pomarance.
Results from the opening stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico stage race, a 22.7km team time-trial at the Lido di Camaiore on Wednesday:
1. BMC 23min 20sec, 2. Quick Step at 17secs, 3. Movistar 22, 4. FDJ same time, 5. Orica-Scott 25, 6. LottoNL-Jumbo 40, 7. Lotto Soudal 52, 8. Bahrain-Merida 53, 9. Dimension Data 53, 10. Astana 55
Selected: 18. Team Sky 1min 42sec