If Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) had expected to resume hostilities from the Giro d’Italia on centre stage, they were mistaken.
With both riders finding themselves back in a race for the first time since the Italian national Tour in May, there was more than an outside chance of ‘ring rust’.
Neither man, however, would have foreseen losing over nine minutes on the opening stage of the seventieth Tour de Pologne.
While Wiggins is likely to be delighted when the race returns to Poland, he has another day in the Dolomites to survive.
Diego Ullisi (Lampre-Merida) would perhaps be pleased if the race remained in Italy for its duration.
Having won the Coppi e Bartali in March, he celebrated a return to top-flight competition on home soil with victory.
Another Italian, Stefano Sirotti, is likely to have relished his countryman’s triumph. Enjoy Sirotti’s opening stage gallery.