"I never thought we'd start so strong, it's been a pleasant surprise," Liquigas team leader Danilo Di Luca said after flying to Naples.
"It's been a surprise for everyone in the team but it's always good when you win. It boosts your moral and worries your rivals."
Liquigas won the team time trial stage on Saturday and filled the first six places in the overall standings with their strongest riders.
Di Luca reclaims pink jersey
Australia's Robbie McEwen of the Predictor team and Italy's Alessandro Petacchi of Milram won stages two and three but Liquigas riders Enrico Gasparotto and Di Luca took turns to wear the race leader's special pink jersey.
Gasparotto is also leading the best young rider competition, while Liquigas head the team standings.
Di Luca, second in the overall standings to Gasparotto, has already gained time on his major rivals.
Former champion Paolo Savoldelli of Italy trails Di Luca by 13 seconds, his compatriot Damiano Cunego is 42 adrift and Ukraine's Yaroslav Popovych 49 seconds. Italian Gilberto Simoni is the worst placed of the overall favourites after losing 1:25.
"The time we've gained is definitely an advantage but the Giro has only just started and the decisive time differences will be created in the mountains," a cautious Di Luca said.
"So far all the big favourites have kept their cards close to their chest but we've done the opposite because we won the team time trial.
"They're all playing psychological games because they're all waiting for the mountain stages in the last week of the race.
We've adopted a different strategy and been more aggressive, but we feel strong enough to do it."
The only rest day problem for the Liquigas team and many of the other 21 teams in the Giro was a delay in the arrival of the ferry carrying their bikes from Sardinia. The riders were unable to train in the afternoon and instead enjoyed a long massage and a nap.
They will be back in the saddle on Wednesday for the 153-km fourth stage from Salerno to Montevergine di Mercogliano near Naples.
Di Luca won at the hilltop sanctuary in 2001 and wants to continue the Liquigas team's run of success.
"The climb up to the finish is relatively easy and so I think all the favourites will be in a leading group," Di Luca said.
"I'll be chasing the time bonuses awarded to the first three riders so that I can pull on the pink jersey again and continue our run of success."
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