Mark Cavendish prevailed in a photo finish to win stage one of the Tour of California, with Bradley Wiggins finishing 10 seconds behind his compatriot.
Cavendish edged out German rider John Degenkolb on his Omega Pharma-Quick Step bike on the 193.3-kilometre race into Sacramento.
But it was by the slimmest of margins, with the 28-year-old Manxman able to claw back a four-second advantage Degenkolb had built up in the closing stages on his Giant-Shimano to pip his rival at the finish line.
Moreno Hofland rounded out the podium places on the opening day of competition.
Wiggins, meanwhile, comfortably finished in the pack, with the 2012 Tour de France winner showing his pedigree in an attacking display.
His efforts, alongside that of his team-mates, who ensured Wiggins finished within touching distance of the early pace-setters, could prove crucial in Monday's key time trial.