Primoz Roglic claimed the opening stage of the Giro d'Italia in impressive fashion, while Simon Yates was among the leading contenders to make a strong start.
Roglic produced a dominant performance in Saturday's time trial around Bologna, clocking a time of 12 minutes and 54 seconds at the end of a course that included a climb of just over two kilometres to the finish.
The Slovenian - a former ski jumper - was the only rider to break the 13-minute barrier despite the threat of rain failing to materialise.
Yates went out late, unlike his rivals, but still claimed second place, finishing 19 seconds behind the winner as he bids for glory in a second straight Grand Tour following his success at last year's Vuelta a Espana.
Former champions Vincenzo Nibali and Tom Dumoulin finished third and fifth respectively, with Miguel Angel Lopez - another considered to be in the running for overall glory - sandwiched in between the pair.
SIMON SAYS: I FELT GOOD
Yates appeared set for victory in last year's Giro until he fell apart on stage 19, paving the way for Chris Froome to claim the pink jersey.
However, with Froome not around to defend his title and Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas also absent, the Bury-born rider is Britain's best hope of success in 2019.
"I felt good. It was only a short effort of course, but I feel good," Yates said about his solid time-trial performance in quotes on the Mitchelton-Scott website.
"We've seen how [Roglic] has been going this year, he's won every stage race he has started and he also won the time trial in Romandie, so he is in great form. We were expecting him to be either first or second.
"There was a moment of doubt when I saw everyone was going off early today, but we looked at the weather and it looked like it was going to be ok, and it was in the end."
STAGE RESULT/GENERAL CLASSIFICATION
1. Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma) 12:54
2. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) +0:19
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) +0:23
4. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) +0:28
5. Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) +0:28
1. Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma) 15
2. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) 12
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) 9
King of the Mountains
1. Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) 9
2. Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma) 4
3. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) 2
After a short, sharp start to proceedings, the Giro stretches out the riders on Sunday with a 205-kilometre journey from Bologna to Fucecchio.