It proved an eventful start as 2017 champion Tom Dumoulin picked up where he left off and claimed the stage win and with it the first maglia rosa.
With four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome, the rider many saw as the closest challenger, finishing 37 seconds down, Dumoulin couldn't have asked for a better start.
Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) occupied the hotseat for much of the day but was ousted when Dumoulin, the last rider off the ramp, came through to beat his time by two seconds. Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Soudal) finished third, a couple of hundredths of a second behind Dennis.
For a short time trial, the general classification developments were significant. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) and Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida), two lightweight riders who ordinarily consider time trialling a weakness, were particularly impressive and ceded just 20 seconds and 28 seconds, respectively, to Dumoulin.
Watch how it all unfolded and ended up in the highlights video above.