Team Sky quartet Steve Cummings, Bradley Wiggins, Dario Cioni and Morris Possoni all finished safely in the chase pack after Matthew Lloyd had followed in the footsteps of Jérôme Pineau by claiming the second breakaway victory in as many stages on day six of the Giro d'Italia.
The Australian Omega Pharma-Lotto rider forged ahead early on with Rubens Bertogliati (Androni Giocattoli), but dropped his accomplice on the final climb of the day before battling on to the finish line one minute and six seconds ahead of the Italian.
And the fact that Lloyd had claimed maximum points on the day's three classified climbs also ensured he took over the lead in the mountains classification.
There was no change at the top of the overall standings, meaning Vincenzo Nibali retained his 13-second advantage over Liquigas team-mate Ivan Basso. Wiggins remains Team Sky's highest-placed rider, four minutes and 36 seconds behind Nibali in 31st position.
We caught up with Team Sky Sports Director Sean Yates afterwards and he said: "It was a reasonably quiet day. With the next few stages in mind, we wanted to keep things conservative.
"It's been a very hard first week and we've had our fair share of bad luck. The boys have done all they can though, if they hadn't had that bad luck then Bradley could well have stayed in pink. He's feeling good and we will see on the first mountain stage on Sunday which ends up the Monte Terminillo how he's getting on. We'll then take things from there after that stage."
Of the way stage six panned out, Yates was keen to pay tribute to winner Lloyd.
He explained: "On stage five I think everyone was surprised to see the breakaway stay clear. A combination of the conditions and poor timing probably played a part, but today it was purely down to a fantastic ride by Matthew Lloyd.
"The sprinters' teams weren't going to chase because they didn't know if those guys were going to still be in touch after the climbs, and in terms of the general classification they weren't really a threat either."
And looking ahead to the next few days Yates added: "Liquigas lost a few members of their team today off the front of the pack and that could prove a factor in the next few stages. There is a chance the race could open up a lot and make it every man for himself without one dominant team, and that could play into Bradley's hands.
"Everyone in our team is feeling OK, obviously it was a hard one today, but things are looking good."
Out on their own
Lloyd and Bertogliati's advantage had earlier reached a maximum of five and a half minutes as they reached the base of the day's first major climb up the Passo del Brattello.
The duo continued to work well together and still had almost three minutes on the field when Evgueni Petrov (Katusha), Johann Tschopp (Bbox-Bouygues) and Cayetano Sarmiento (Acqua & Sapone) joined forces to try and haul them back with around 25km to go.
The day's exertions finally began to take their toll on Bertogliati, who was unable to keep the pace with Lloyd on the Bedizzano, but even he was able to hang on doggedly at the line as the bunch once again left it too late to challenge for top honours.
Lampre's Danilo Hondo completed the podium places, nine seconds behind Bertogliati, after outsprinting Manuel Belletti (Colnago-CSF) and Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) in the closing stages.