Simplifying access to synthetic nucleosides is of interest due to their widespread use as biochemical or anticancer and antiviral agents. Herein, a direct stereoselective method to access an expansive range of both natural and synthetic nucleosides up to a gram scale, through direct glycosylation of nucleobases with 5-O-tritylribose and other C5-modified ribose derivatives, is discussed in detail. The reaction proceeds through nucleophilic epoxide ring opening of an in situ formed 1,2-anhydrosugar (termed "anhydrose") under modified Mitsunobu reaction conditions. The scope of the reaction in the synthesis of diverse nucleosides and other 1-substituted riboside derivatives is described. In addition, a mechanistic insight into the formation of this key glycosyl donor intermediate is provided.