With the carnage of the Netherlands a distant memory, the Giro's return to Italian soil was marked by victory for Italian team Liquigas in the TTT and an all-Italian podium.
A week ago, Vincenzo Nibali was getting his passport ready to travel across the Atlantic for the upcoming Amgen TofCal. But with team-mate Franco Pellizotti held up at UCI customs for a dodgy bio ID and suspect hand luggage, the 25-year-old was fast-tracked to the Liquigas roster for the Giro.
Four days in and Nibali is the race's fourth pink jersey after his airtight team beasted the 32.5km TTT in Piedmont. The man known as the Shark has certainly flexed his jaws.
Two years ago, Alberto Contador was hauled off the beach to join the Giro at the 11th hour after his team Astana was banned from the Tour (thanks to one Alexandre Vinokourov, incidentally). Despite his lack of preparation, Contador went on to win the race.
Who would bet against Nibali repeating the Spaniard's feat? The guy has never finished outside the top 20 in a Grand Tour. He can hold his own in the mountains. He's in a super strong team, as Wednesday's stage proved.
Blazin' Saddles said it before and he will say it again: both Nibali and current second-place Ivan Basso will be on the podium in Verona. But this won't be a repeat of the Contador-Lance Armstrong Astana infighting we saw at the Tour last July. The Liquigas pair have class, share a love of Ferraris and, what's more, they're good friends.
"Being the last name to take part has removed the weight of pressure from my shoulders," said Nibali before the race. "But I don't feel ready to be considered amongst the leaders."
Well, Vincenzo, you can consider it now.
Elsewhere, Team Sky finished second but had to ride through the rain without Chris Sutton after the former Blackburn Rovers hotshot was struck down by a mechanical problem in the opening click. With the weather deteriorating during their run, Sky's bad run of luck continued: as such, their 13-second deficit at the end was entirely symbolic.
Cadel Evans suffered a kick in the teeth after his new BMC outfit finished a telling 35 seconds slower than his old cronies at Lotto. Despite his gutsy ride on Monday, it seems that the Australian's Grand Tour hopes are yet again being dashed by a combination of bad luck and a weak team.
And finally, former leader Vinokourov showed the world that he doesn't fully understand the concept of a team time trial. Either that, or someone told him it was OK to ride off in front and then turn around and shake his head when the others don't follow.
Talk about perfecting a way of demoralising your team-mates. Vino, there's no 'I' in Astana (but there should be another 's').
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "TTT done, going early did not catch the good weather. Mad crosswinds for us turned into a tailwind for the last teams." Evans tweets after losing one minute and 21 seconds to his Liquigas rivals.
Follow Blazin' Saddles throughout the Giro on www.twitter.com/saddleblaze.