Lance Armstrong returned to pro cycling at the Vuelta Ciclista a la Regiona de Murcia on Wednesday, more than a month after completing the Tour Down Under.
But it was Robbie Hunter, riding for US-based Garmin Transitions, who supplied the sparks to the first stage of the race across southern Spain that ends Sunday.
The South African won a bunch sprint at the end of stage 1, beating the likes of Graeme Brown (Rabobank) and Daryl Impey (RadioShack), among others.
At Twitter, Hunter gave Armstrong and RadioShack props in the race:
Gotta say thanks to @lancearmstrong & his guys they did a lot of work in the front to rip the bunch to pieces. they rode real impressively!
Thursday's stage is a 105-mile race from Calasparra to Caravaca de la Cruz.
In the victory for the US cycling team, Hunter is joined by David Zabriskie, Michael Kreder, Trent Lowe, Danny Pate, Peter Stetina, and Julian Dean. Zabriskie, Pate and Stetina are all US riders.
Armstrong is joined on the US-based RadioShack team by Andreas Kloden, Jason McCartney, Greg Rast, Jose Luis Rubiera, Haimar Zubeldia, and Impey.
Among the other racers are Russia's Denis Menchov, defending champ of the Murcia who also won the Giro d'Italia last year. Britain's Team Sky is challenging with Bradley Wiggins. Wiggins finished 4th in the 2009 Tour de France, right behind Armstrong.
Armstrong last raced Murcia in 2004, finishing 23rd overall. He finished 46th in Stage 1 on Wednesday.
Full roster at CyclingNews.