La Chaux-de-Fonds - Spaniard Ion Izaguirre was a surprise winner of the opening prologue at the Tour de Romandie on Tuesday.
The 27-year-old Movistar rider covered the technical 3.95km course in 5min 33sec to beat Dutch time-trial specialist Tom Dumoulin by six seconds.
Poland's Michal Kwiatkowski was third at 7sec in the same time as his Welsh Sky team-mate Geraint Thomas, but their team leader Chris Froome struggled.
The Tour de France champion finished 26sec down in 62nd after his run was hampered by snowfall at La Chaux-de-Fonds.
He lost time on other overall favourites including Nairo Quintana (18th at 16sec), Thibaut Pinot (11th at 12sec), Romain Barrdet (27th at 18sec) and 2011 winner Simon Spilak (36th at 22sec).
But reigning champion Ilnur Zakarin of Russia struggled even more than Briton Froome and finished 75th at 30sec while Australian Richie Porte was 101st at 37sec, although his BMC team-mate Tejay Van Garderen managed a strong run to come ninth at just 11sec.
Wednesday's opening stage proper is 167km from Chaux-de-Fonds to Moudon.
Results from the 3.95km prologue of the Tour de Romandie around La Chaux-de-Fonds on Tuesday:
1. Jon Izagirre (ESP/MOV) 5min 33sec, 2. Tom Dumoulin (NED/GIA) at 6sec, 3. Michal Kwiatkowski (POL/SKY) 7, 4. Geraint Thomas (GBR/SKY) same time, 5. Gorka Izagirre (ESP/MOV) 8, 6. Moreno Moser (ITA/CAN) 9, 7. Reto Hollenstein (SWI/IAM) 11, 8. Louis Vervaeke (BEL/LOT) s.t., 9. Tejay Van Garderen (USA/BMC) s.t., 10. Martijn Keizer (NED/LNL) 12
11. Thibaut Pinot (FRA/FDJ) s.t., 18. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV) 16, 27. Romain Bardet (FRA/ALM) 18, 36. Simon Spilak (SLO/KAT) 22, 62. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) 26, 75. Ilnur Zakarin (RUS/KAT) 30, 101. Richie Porte (AUS/BMC) 37