Edvald Boasson Hagen remains fifth in the overall standings after a bold bid to win the first stage proper of the Eneco Tour.
The Norwegian launched a powerful solo attack 800 metres from the line in Rhenen at the end of a tricky day in Holland.
That was on the climb up the Grebbeberg and when he put daylight between himself and the rest of the field it briefly looked like a stage win and the leader's white jersey both beckoned.
However he couldn't quite maintain the momentum and was overhauled in sight of the line as Australian Robbie McEwen waited until the gradient flattened out before he surged to victory. Powering up the right of the road, the Katusha rider outsprinted Sebastián Haedo (Saxo Bank) and Allan Davis (Astana).
Svein Tuft (Garmin-Transitions), the impressive winner of the opening prologue, remains in the overall lead after finishing in the front group. Boasson Hagen, who came home in 16th on the day, is seven seconds behind him in fifth while Greg Henderson is a further five seconds back in 10th.
Barry caught up in crash
The 178km stage from Steenwijk saw the peloton put under pressure by a combination of crosswinds and a couple of crashes.
Team Sky's Michael Barry was caught up in the worst of those spills, 33km from home, and though he got back on his bike and finished the stage he went to hospital straight afterwards.
A three-man break featuring Pavel Brutt (Katusha), Adriano Malori (Lampre) and Albert Timmer (Skil - Shimano) had gone clear just six kilometres into the stage but they were never allowed an advantage of more than three minutes.
They still led by 27 seconds with 13km remaining but as soon as the sprinters' teams started to get organised that gap was whittled down and they were caught 8km from the line.
That sparked a perfectly-timed attack from Rabobank who made the crosswinds work to their advantage as the front group was reduced even further but it was Katusha's McEwen who had the final say.
Afterwards Team Sky Sports Director Steven de Jongh talked us through an up-and-down day for his charges.
He said: "It's a shame it didn't work out for Edvald - he thought he might get swamped if he waited so he went for it to try and win the stage and take some seconds out of the field. It was a really brave action and he didn't lose anything on the GC.
"The crosswinds made it tricky, especially in the closing stages, and we weren't quite where we wanted to be when the attack came. The guys were organised but just a little too far behind and it took a lot of energy to get back up again. We'll have to make sure we are more alert tomorrow and I'm sure we will be.
"We're just hoping Michael is going to be okay to start - he's in hospital right now having X-rays on his ribs following that fall," added de Jongh.
Thursday's stage two takes the riders into Belgium as they cover 198.5km from St. Willebrord to Ardooie.
- Update to this story: X-rays have confirmed that Michael Barry broke a rib when crashing.