Edvald Boasson Hagen moved up to third place in the overall standings after finishing second on stage three of the Glava Tour of Norway.
The Team Sky rider sprinted to the line behind Aidis Kruopis (Orica-GreenEDGE) after a 180km stage from Lillestrom to Elverum.
Jonas Ahlstrand (Team CykelCity) was third home and managed to regain the overall lead by two seconds ahead of Alessandro Peteacchi (Lampre-ISD), with Boasson Hagen a further two seconds back.
Team Sky led the peloton into the closing stages as they set things up for Boasson Hagen, who was going for a first stage victory at his home tour this year.
But it was Lithuanian rider Kruopis who took the win in the sprint, while Petacchi lost his place at the top of the general classification after only managing fourth.
Boasson Hagen's fellow Team Sky rider Luke Rowe was also prominent at the finish, crossing the line in an impressive seventh place.
Earlier in the stage a five-man breakaway group formed, consisting of Alessandro Bazzana (Team Type 1), Adrian Gjolberg (Joker Merida), Oystein Stake Laengen (Plussbank), Kristian Dyrnes (Oster Hus-Ridley) and Mikael Schou (Ringeriks Kraft).
With the Lampre-ISD team of overall leader Petacchi doing a lot of work at the front of the peloton, it seemed certain the escapees would be caught in good time.
However, the break kept up a stubbornly high pace and managed to stay away longer than expected as they headed towards the finish in Elverum.
Dyrnes made a brave bid for a solo stage victory and at one point looked as if he might make it before finally being reeled in with around 3km to go, meaning a sprint was inevitable.
After the stage, Team Sky Sports Director Marcus Ljungqvist explained how the day's events unfolded.
"The day started very fast before the group with five guys went after five or six kilometres and them Lampre straight away started taking control," Ljungqvist said.
"They did a good job in the break - two guys got dropped and then the other three held it for a long time.
"We had Salvatore (Puccio) and Michael (Barry) helping out in the last 30 or 40km and then in the end the team did a perfect lead-out again, delivering Edvald just where we wanted.
"Kuopis was just faster today so congrats to him."
With the remaining two stages set to be decisive in the fight for the overall win, Ljungqvist is confident that Team Sky have a good platform from which to challenge the rest of the field.
He added: "The guys are riding perfectly as a team, it was a really good job from them all and they deserve a win and I think it will come, we'll just keep on trying.
"For sure there will be big splits tomorrow. We are in a really good position with Edvald having those bonus seconds so I think the guys are ready to go for the win."