Team Sky couldn't make it a fourth successive top-10 finish as Saxo Bank rider Richie Porte scored an emphatic but surprise victory in the stage three time trial at the Tour de Romandie.
The 25-year-old Tasmanian, a first-year pro, produced a blistering display on the second half of the 23.4km loop around Moudon.
He set a target time of 30 minutes 54.13 seconds and no one came close to matching it.
Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) was second in 31:20 while Vladimir Karpets (Katyusha) completed the podium places.
Michael Rogers (HTC-Columbia) was fourth and that was good enough to vault him to the top of the overall standings.
Rogers is two seconds ahead of Valverde, and five in front of Karpets.
After top tens for first Greg Henderson and then Ben Swift (twice) it was a relatively low-key day for Team Sky, with Dario Cioni first home in 90th, exactly three minutes behind.
Sports Director Sean Yates told us: "There's not too much to write home about today, other than Dario and Morris [Possoni] trying to make sure they kept themselves in contention on the general classification.
"We hit the mountains now after relatively flat stages and that's where our focus will be."
Cioni, Possoni and Swift are all within 3:30 on the GC heading into the final two stages.
For stage winner Porte, the winner of the time trial at last year's Baby Giro, the result was the best of his career so far.
"It's a massive surprise for me," he admitted. "I can't believe it.
"I was 30 seconds down to some big names after the first time check but must have had a great second half - the winds must have changed!"