Markina - Spain's Luis Leon Sanchez won the 144km opening stage of the Tour of the Basque Country on Monday ahead of compatriot Dani Navarro.
The 32-year-old Astana rider Sanchez and Navarro of Cofidis escaped on the descent of the day's final climb on the stage from Exebarria to Markina-Xemein.
Australian Simon Gerrans of the Orica-GreenEdge team won the bunch sprint to finish third.
Giro d'Italia champion Alberto Contador, Vuelta a Espana winner Fabio Aru and Tour de France runner-up Nairo Quintana are amongst the favourites for overall victory in the week-long stage race which ends on Saturday.
Stage 1 Results
1. Luis Len Snchez 3hr 54min 21sec, 2. Daniel Navarro (ESP/Cofidis) same time, 3. Simon Gerrans (AUS/Orica) s.t., 4. Fabio Felline (ITA/Trek) s.t., 5. Simon Clarke (AUS/Cannondale) s.t., 6. Jan Bakelants (BEL/AG2R) s.t., 7. Daniel Martin (ITA/Etixx) s.t., 8. Warren Barguil (FRA/Giant) s.t., 9. Tony Gallopin (FRA/Lotto) s.t., 10. Sergei Chernetskiy (RUS/Katusha) s.t.