Michael Albasini continued his impressive season on Wednesday after the veteran Swiss won stage one of the Tour de Romandie.
Albasini who last week managed to finish in the top 10 of three tough hilly classics – Amstel Gold Race, La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège – added a seventh Tour de Romandie to his palmarès following his late charge at the end of the 168.6-kilometre stage from Aigle to Champéry.
Albasini of Australain tean Orica-Scott crossed the finishing line ahead of Team UAE Emirates' Diego Ulissi and Movistar's Jesús Herrada at the top of a category one climb that was covered in cloud as the rain lashed down making the roads slick and treacherous.
Prologue winner Fabio Felline (Trek-Segafredo) retained the leaders' yellow jersey, but Britain's Alex Dowsett, who had been second heading into the stage, fell down the classifications.
The Movistar rider was dropped by the breakaway on the final climb as the conditions worsened.
Thursday's stage two runs over 161km to Bulle when Italian Felline will defend an eight-second advantage over Maximilian Schachmann, the German Quick-Step Floors rider, and Spaniard Herrada.
Albasini is ninth, some 14 seconds adrift, in the sprinters' green jersey while Britain's Simon Yates is the leading climber for Orica-Scott at 18 seconds off the pace.
Chris Froome who finished fifth on Wednesday remains some 29 seconds adrift, having been one of several general classification contenders to play it safe during Tuesday's time trial which also saw wet conditions on the slippery 4.8km circuit.