Belgium's Nick Nuyens of the Quick Step team claimed the first stage victory and the yellow jersey as the six-day Tour of Britain began in Scotland.
The race started in Glasgow's George Square
Nuyens took the stage in four hours 24 mins and 32 secs, beating Danish rider Michael Blaudzun by just two seconds.
Jeremy Hunt was the best-placed Briton in third, a further second back.
Barloworld's Tom Southam, who is fifth, was the leader on the road for a while after claiming time bonuses in two of the three intermediate sprints.
But Britain's best hope Roger Hammond was left behind by an early break.
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As crosswinds whipped over the road, 35 of the best riders in the race escaped with only around 20km of the 184.2km route from Glasgow to Castle Douglas gone.
The difference in quality between the likes of Nuyens and his Australian team-mate Michael Rogers, who guessed right in joining the break, and some of those left behind, made a successful chase all but impossible.
A disappointed Hammond said: "If it was easy to predict we'd have all been there.
"It's a young (British) team and I feel a bit guilty because I should have been helping those guys out. I made a mistake and it's affected the whole team."
Nuyens also leads the points and the King of the Mountains standings while Eric Baumann of T-Mobile tops the sprints competition.
Stage one results
1 Nuyens (Quick Step-Innergetic) 4h24'32"
2 Blaudzun (Team CSC) @ 02"
3 Hunt (Mr Bookmaker-Sports) @ 03"
4 Rogers (Quick Step-Innergetic) @ 04"
5 De Waele (Landbouwkrediet Colna) same time
6 Barker (Driving Force Log) same time
7 Thijs (Mr Bookmaker-Sports) @ 05"
8 Giling (T-Mobile) same time
9 Cherro Molina (Comunidad Valenciana) same time
10 Mazur (Navigators Insurance) same time