Australian Simon Gerrans' Orica GreenEdge outfit won the Giro d'Italia team time-trial, the first stage of the event, as Team Sky came in ninth.
Gerrans took the leader's pink jersey in 19 minutes 26 seconds with Alberto Contador's Tinkoff-Saxo team second and Astana third.
Team Sky, led by Australian Richie Porte, finished 27 seconds behind Orica in the 17.6km trial at San Remo.
Spaniard Contador is best placed of the top contenders after the first stage.
"We're very happy, we put a lot of work into this team time-trial even if we're not a team of specialists," said Australian Michael Rogers of Tinkoff.
Contador is looking to become the first man to achieve a Giro-Tour de France double since the late Marco Pantani of Italy in 1998.
Team Sky's ninth place was a blow to 30-year-old Porte's hopes of challenging Contador, 32.
Sunday's second stage is a mainly flat, 177km route from Albenga to Genoa with one categorised climb.
There are 21 stages on the year's first Grand Tour, finishing in Milan on 31 May.
Final leading positions after stage one:
1. Orica GreenEdge 19mins 26secs
2. Tinkoff-Saxo +7secs
3. Astana +13secs
4. Etixx-Quick-Step +19secs
5. Movistar Team +21secs
6. BMC Racing Team +25secs
7. IAM Cycling +25secs
8. FDJ.fr +26secs
9. Team Sky +27secs
10. Team Katusha +27secs