"There's no reason to be stressed at the start, you can’t do anything but wait, so I enjoyed the sun rather than sitting in a chair," smiled Mads Pedersen, not showing any hint of nerves ahead of the stage three time trial in Volta ao Algarve Friday.
In the end, the young Dane would prove to be the quickest of the team, crossing the line with the provisional best time and landing in the hot seat for some time, enough to take in what he had just accomplished.
"I didn't even think about beating guys like Taylor Phinney," he added. "I am really happy no matter the result I have in the end. I am really happy with my time."
When the big names took the start later, Pedersen, 21, was inevitably knocked off his temporary throne, but only 11 would manage to better his time, giving him a respectable 12th place for the 18-kilometer race against the clock that included cobblestones – a favored terrain of the young promise.
"I got some seconds in the beginning with all the corners, something like 10 seconds," Pedersen explained. "In a course like this, it means a lot because on the way out and back I am losing time to the big guys. For me, it is important to go fast in the beginning in all the corners. For sure that gave me something.
"I like the cobbles," he answered when asked if they made a difference, "but it was actually the first time I have done them on the TT bike, so it was something new for me. But yeah, It was nice to have cobblestones on the course.
"I don't think people expected this, so yeah I am pretty happy, and happy to show off the Trek-Segafredo jersey for the first time."
First, perhaps, but certainly not the last.