Michael Barry spent the day in the break while Morris Possoni consolidated sixth place on stage six of the Tour of Austria (Osterreich Rundfahrt).
Barry came home tenth after a late bid to drop his counterparts in the day's 13-man breakaway was closed down.
With the Canadian reeled back in Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) took the victory as the strong group held on by a slender margin at the finish.
Cross-winds played havoc throughout the day with a number of attacks trying to move clear during the opening loop around Hainburg with both sprint and mountains points up for grabs early on.
Eventually a move stuck at the front as a 13-man break made its way up the road, with Barry ensuring there was a Team Sky presence as the field continued the 155 kilometres route to Bruck an der Leitha.
The gap stretched out to just under four minutes before Skil-Shimano led the chase in the peloton with occasional help from Team NetApp.
The leaders saw their advantage slashed on the run for home as Astana came to the fore in support of race leader Fredrik Kessiakoff and it was touch and go heading into the final three kilometres, with 25 seconds separating the front group from the main bunch.
Grégory Rast (RadioShack) and Robert Wagner (Leopard Trek) had already been dropped from the break by that point but the other 11 just managed to stay clear, with Van Avermaet edging out Matt Brammeier (HTC-Highroad) and Daniele Bennati (Leopard Trek).
The peloton crossed the line six seconds adrift which means there's no change at the top of the overall standings, with Kessiakoff maintaining his advantage of 1:18 minutes over Mauro Santambrogio (BMC Racing). Team Sky's Morris Possoni is sixth.
Saturday's penultimate stage is a 30.1km individual time trial around Podersdorf.
After the stage Team Sky Sports Director Marcus Ljungqvist described a day made harder by constant cross-winds.
He said: “Michael [Barry] got in the break today which was good. He was doing the minimum in there because there were a lot of strong guys and sprinters in that group.
“It was good to have him up there. He knew he had to drop them to win that one today and he gave it a really good go but it didn’t quite turn out.
“The team were behind in the bunch and there was a lot of wind today. The group split up a few times during the stage but it came back together mostly in the end. We were trying to protect Morris [Possoni] and then also help CJ [Sutton] to set him up for the sprint.
“CJ is on good form and that was the plan. It was coming back fast but in the end it just didn’t happen. Without radios we didn’t really know what was going on at the front and also to communicate with Michael. But all in all it was a good day.”