Breakaway rider Phillip Gaimon marked his debut for Garmin-Sharp with victory on the opening stage of the Tour de San Luis in Argentina as Mark Cavendish and his fellow sprinters missed out.
The day had been set to end in a bunch finish in Villa Mercedes, but a five-man escape group was allowed to build up an advantage of over nine minutes and the peloton was unable to bring it back.
Only two of the breakaway riders remained in the lead heading into the final 5km, and American Gaimon, who moved to Garmin-Sharp over the winter, proved too strong for Emiliano Contreras, dropping the Argentina team rider in the closing stages to win by 12 seconds and take the overall lead of the race.
The peloton eventually crossed the line 4min 35sec down, with Cavendish (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) in 18th.
The result will be a disappointment for the Manxman, who won the same stage last year and had been hoping to once again use it to get his season off to a winning start.
The stage also marked the professional debut of 21-year-old Briton Adam Yates. The Orica-GreenEdge crossed the line in the peloton in 90th place.
Gaimon and Contreras had been joined in the breakaway by Marc de Maar (UnitedHealthcare), Julian Gaday (Buenos Aires Provincia) and Leandro Messineo (San Luis Somos Todos).
However, Gaday opted to drop out with around 30km remaining, and then De Maar and Messineo crashed shortly before the 5km-to-go mark and also fell away.
Stage one result and general classification
1 Phillip Gaimon (USA) Garmin-Sharp, 4:06:54
2 Emiliano Contreras (Arg) Argentina, +12sec
3 Marc de Maar (Cur) UnitedHealthcare, +1:17
4 Leandro Messineo (Arg) San Luis Somos Todos, +1:26
5 Cristian da Rosa (Bra) Clube Dataro de Ciclismo-Bottecchia, +3:52
6 Adrian Alvarado (Chi) Chile, same time
7 Christian Meier (Can) Orica-GreenEdge, st
8 Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-Merida, +4:35
Kenny Dehaes (Bel) Lotto-Belisol, st
10 Manuel Belletti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela
18 Mark Cavendish (GB) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, st
34 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana, st
76 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale, st
90 Adam Yates (GB) Orica-GreenEdge, st