Team Sky's Juan Antonio Flecha finished third on stage two of the Tour of Luxembourg and moved up to fourth overall as a result.
"Everybody is looking really good...that's encouraging not only for this weekend but also for the races that are coming up."
The Spaniard, winner of Het Nieuwsblad and third at Paris-Roubaix earlier in the season, underlined his continued good form by powering clear from a five-man group for the final podium place at the end of the 202km stage from Schifflange to Differdange.
That group finished 35 seconds behind the front two of Saxo Bank's Fränk Schleck and Matteo Carrara.
The pair had pounced clear of the field climbing up the Col de L'Europe during the second of three 9.4km loops which rounded off the day and it was local favourite Schleck who outsprinted the Vacansoleil rider to the delight of the home crowd.
Carrara had plenty to smile about too as he vaulted into the leader's yellow jersey, a second ahead of Schleck.
RadioShack's Lance Armstrong remains third in the overall standings, 30 seconds behind Carrara, after finishing sixth on the stage while Flecha is fourth on the GC, a further four seconds adrift of the Texan.
On a good day for Team Sky, Serge Pauwels took tenth and is up to 21st overall, while Thomas Löfkvist captured one of the intermediate sprints en route to 14th place.
Both Löfkvist and Simon Gerrans remain handily placed on the GC too, in 25th and 17th respectively.
Early break reeled in
The stage was the longest and toughest of the five-day race - with five classified climbs and no fewer than seven intermediate sprints - and an early five-man breakaway had established a lead of just over five minutes after 50km.
However Saur-Sojasun, defending the jersey of overnight leader Cyril Lemoine, and RadioShack, with three men in the top six in the GC, never let the gap get out of control.
The riders were all reeled in by the time of the first of the final three loops and it was soon after that point that Schleck and Carrara made what proved to be the day's decisive move.
Good day's work
We caught up with Team Sky's Sports Director Marcus Ljungqvist shortly after the stage and he was more than happy with the way things had panned out.
He said: "It was a hard stage, much tougher than Thursday, with plenty of climbing and a tough finish but it was a good day for us.
"Five guys went clear pretty early but RadioShack together with Saur-Sojasun chased them down.
"Fränk Schleck proved too strong for everyone but Flecha finished strongly himself to take third and the other guys did well too - everybody is looking really good.
"That's encouraging not only for this weekend but also for the races that are coming up. We'll focus first on Saturday's third stage and Flecha's position on the GC."