(CNN) -- Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara claimed the Vuelta Espana golden jersey on Saturday with victory in the opening time-trial in the Dutch city of Assen.
Cancellara tries on his gold jersey for size after winning the opening prologue in the Vuelta Espana.
The 28-year-old Saxo Bank rider clocked a time of five minutes 20 seconds around the 4.8km course on Assen's MotoGP track, nine seconds faster than Belgian Tom Boonen (Quick Step) and 12 seconds ahead of American Tyler Farrar (Garmin).
Cancellara also won the opening time-trial at the Tour de France earlier this year, but nevertheless admitted he had not expected to triumph.
"I wouldn't have bet on myself, I didn't know my condition heading into the Vuelta. I thought a prologue specialist would win, but I gave it my best nonetheless." He added:
"I won't have a great race like I did at the Tour de France, I am here to find the condition for the World Championships in my home country.
"Though the next few days suit me, and I am looking forward to the Vuelta a Espana in Netherlands."
Kazakhstan's Alexander Vinokourov (Astana), returning following a two-year doping suspension, finished 18 seconds behind Cancellara in seventh spot, level with Italian Ivan Basso (Liquigas).
The pair were just ahead of the pre-race favorite, Spaniard Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne), who had to settle for ninth.
The race continues with stage two, a 202km trek from Assen to Emmen on Sunday.