The 99th running of the Milano - Torino race, and one that will be remembered by a crash so avoidable it was comedic.
That came later on, with the concentration early in the race on a four man breakaway containing Willie Smit (Katusha-Alpecin), Umberto Orsini (Bardiani-CSF), Krists Neilands (Israel Cycling Academy), and Thomas De Gendt of Lotto Soudal.
As for often happens they couldn't keep the pace, and soon the chasing peloton swallowed them up.
Daniel Martinez of Start First then broke clear, with David Gaudu and Jakob Fuglsang joining him.
At one stage they went 14 seconds clear, before being hauled in with Thibaut Pinot and Miguel Angel Lopez joining the front.
And then the moment that defined the race as Astana's Lopez - one of the favourites - lost his bearings and crashed at low speed into Gauda.
He was up quickly, but the damage was done as Pinot zoomed off leaving fellow rival Alejandro Valverde unable to keep pace.
Pinot won the race, 10 seconds clear of Lopez, who finished 18 seconds ahead of Valverde.