Greg Henderson claimed his third top 10 finish of the Giro d'Italia after Michael Barry had helped animate the stage in a brave early breakaway.
Henderson - fifth on stages one and five - battled valiantly on the closing straight in Cava de' Tirreni but had to settle for eighth on the day after Matt Goss (HTC-Columbia) had sprinted to victory ahead of Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) and Tyler Farrar (Garmin).
Moments before, Barry had kept the chase pack on its toes after moving clear of a four-man breakaway group with Mikhail Ignatiev (Katyusha) late on, but the duo were hauled back with just under five kilometres to go, allowing the sprinters to come to the fore in a flat-out finale.
The inclement weather which had hampered most of the Italian stages continued at the start of the day, but it didn't stop Barry and Ignatiev joining forces with Tom Stamsnijder (Rabobank) and Gianpaolo Cheula (Footon) and edging ahead of the pack within 4km of the official start line.
The quartet quickly forged a productive partnership and built a lead of around four minutes which prevailed for much of the stage. Barry was an integral part in maintaining that advantage and his long shifts at the front drove the foursome onwards along the rain-soaked roads between Lazio and Campania.
HTC-Columbia and Astana eventually joined forces at the head of the chase pack, and the two teams temporarily splintered the field as they dug deep to bring the leaders back.
When the chasers looked as though they had achieved that objective with 10km to go, Ignatiev attacked once again and Barry was the only rider with enough left in the tank to keep pace with him.
Despite the duo hanging on for a further 5km, the peloton was back together as they entered the destination town and Team Sky were prominent on the front as the sprinter specialists jostled for the best positions behind.
Henderson was dropped into the mix late on but it was Goss who was celebrating after emerging from Pozzato's slipstream and pipping the Italian champion at the line.
Alexandre Vinokourov was also part of that lead group, ensuring he maintained a one minute and 12 second advantage over Cadel Evans in the battle for the general classification. Bradley Wiggins lost 1min 49sec on the Kazakh by finishing in 106th place.
Yates impressed by Barry
After the stage, sports director Sean Yates was quick to praise Michael Barry's fine performance and hinted it will not be long before Greg Henderson is once again challenging in the thick of the action.
He said: "It was a fantastic ride by Michael in atrocious conditions. It meant we didn't have to chase all day and allowed us to save some energy.
"He is looking in great shape and that's a credit to his professionalism. He's been around the block and knows exactly what he has to do to get himself in that condition to do the jobs we ask of him.
"It was also pleasing to see Greg get into position for the sprint, but the finish turned out to be tougher than we expected and he didn't quite have the legs there, which was unfortunate.
"HTC-Columbia and Garmin have now both won a sprint stage and we want to do that as well. Hats off to HTC-Columbia today - they worked hard from beginning to end and got their reward with a great finish from Matt.
"If we keep trying, then I am sure that we will eventually get a break like they have. The boys have been doing everything we've asked of them and that's all they can do."