Patrick Bevin has quickly shown his new employers his worth.
The emerging Kiwi cyclist has celebrated his entry to the World Tour ranks with a national title.
Wearing the Cannondale green for the first time, Bevin has won the men's time trial on the opening day of the road cycling nationals in Hawke's Bay.
"You come into a team like Cannondale at the bottom and it's nice to say 'hey guys we're here'," Bevin said.
"It was a big goal early in the season and it takes a bit of pressure off Sunday [the men's road race] to be honest," he said.
He completed the testing 40km course in a time of 52:21.20 minutes, more than a minute clear of Tom Scully, with 2013 champion Joe Cooper almost another 30 seconds off the pace in third.
Bevin was challenged by Cooper and fellow World Tour professional Jesse Sergent on the first lap, but managed the windy conditions better than his more experienced rivals.
"I knew it was a course that suited me and as the wind picked up it would suit me more," Bevin said.
"The wind was horrendous and it came up," he said.
"The second lap I had some issues with the wind. Coming around that second time was brutal and it became a challenge just to stay on the bike and keep as much momentum as I could."
"If you had a bad day today and you come up that climb for the last time, you could lose 20 or 30 seconds, so it was about being fairly conservative and riding the course where you could," Bevin said.
Patrick Bevin will now be considered one of the favourites to win the road race and complete a rare double.
And while he feels the pressure is off, he's still motivated.
"We go into Sunday with a goal of winning of course, but it's a hard one to read," Bevin said.
"There are teams, tactics and a new course, but someone has to win and I'm going to give myself every opportunity to come away with another jersey."
Decorated New Zealand professional Greg Henderson did not start the time trial, after being a surprise entrant.
Hayden McCormick won the men's under-23 title in his first event for the British One Pro Cycling team.