Climbing towards the finish in Champery in poor visibility the attacks started inside the final kilometre of the 173km ride from Aigle with several big names including Tour de France champion Chris Froome in the mix.
It was home rider Albasini (Orica-Scott) who proved the strongest though as he powered through the puddles to cross the line clear in first place.
Italy's Diego Ulissi (Team Emirates) was second with Spain's Jesus Herrada (Movistar) in third.
Italian Fabio Felline, who won the 4.8km prologue on Tuesday, was safely in the pack to retain the overall lead.
Froome finished fifth.
Thursday's stage takes the peloton from Champery to Bulle.
Read the original article on Eurosport: Albasini wins first stage of Tour de Romandie