Welsh Junior Stephen Williams set the opening stage of the Ras de Cymru to a flying start, clocking what officials have deemed could be a new course record.
The Welshman clocked a sub 11 minute time riding for the Wales Junior Development Team in the race prologue, a rolling 4.2 mile individual time trial with a gritty climb to the finish.
The Ras de Cymru is one of the UK's only five-day amateur stage races, with six challenging stages combining individual and team time trials with classic road racing, all set against the stunning backdrop of the rolling Gwent and Powys countryside.
A combination of hard work between Cadence Cycle Racing and Newport University, and supported by Welsh Cycling and British Cycling, the race can only be described as a 'mini Tour de France'; this year including a field of 100 riders.
The event is a perfect ensemble ahead of the real thing, the 100th Tour de France, which sets live on TV screens for its centenary year on Saturday.
Stage 2 features the first hilly road race of the event tomorrow at 10.30am. A full race manual can be downloaded from Cadence Cycle Racing. Racing continues each day until Sunday.
Stage 1 result:
1st Stephen Williams (Wales Junior Development Team) 10.59
2nd Darren Bell (Manx Viking Wheelers) @ 8 secs
3rd Felix Barker (Severn Road Club) @ 18 secs
1st Manx Valley Wheelers 34.36
2nd Severn Road Club @ 6 secs
3rd Wales Junior Development Team @ 8 sec