Josef Cerny was a surprise winner of the short, flat prologue of the Tour of Romandie on Tuesday raced on the shores of Lake Lehman.
World champion Tobias Foss was second and Remi Cavagna third in the five-stage race that has two hilly stages, one mountainous and one long individual time-trial remaining.
Surrounded by the stunning snowcapped Alps which await the peloton on Thursday’s Queen stage, Cerny completed the 6.8km course in 7min 25sec.
“That was really close, I’m a very happy man. I worked hard for this, look at the start list. It was painful,” said the Czech rider.
Of the eventual overall contenders for the title, Ethan Hayter was five seconds off the pace and UAE’s great hope for the future, Juan Ayuso, was at 12sec, the 20-year-old Spaniard targetting triumph at the 2023 Vuelta.
Adam and Simon Yates were divided by a single second with the UAE man at 19 and the Jayco Alula rider 20sec off the pace.
Egan Bernal lost 25sec on the day with the slender Colombian primed to show in the Alps on Thursday.