After what had been a relatively straightforward 191.4-kilometre test the action came to a head in Peniscola, with Moscon launching a surprise attack with two kilometres to go.
A crash behind caused momentary confusion in the peloton and it was only the lead-out train of LottoNL-Jumbo that eventually hauled back the Italian inside the final kilometre.
That effort paid dividends for former Team Sky rider Danny van Poppel (LottoNL-Jumbo), who claimed the opening stage victory and moved into an early race lead.
Kwiatkowski surfed the wheels on the home straight and secured seventh position, while Wout Poels, Diego Rosa and David de la Cruz all finished safely behind ahead of Thursday’s first true general classification test.
Despite not having a recognised sprinter in the team, Team Sky arrived at the front with 10km to go, with Vasil Kiryienka leading the line to ensure the likes of Poels and Kwiatkowski stayed out of trouble.