Greg Henderson was third behind André Greipel as Team Sky made the podium on the first stage of their Tour of Britain debut.
The British-based team were prominent throughout the opening 132.6 kilometres route from Rochdale to Blackpool which opened their national tour.
Russell Downing took points in two of the three intermediate sprints and then the team played a leading role in reeling in a three-man break which had poached a lead of over five minutes.
Greipel's HTC-Columbia outfit was also to the fore as the sprinters' teams worked well together later on to ensure a bunch finish in Blackpool and the German was the main benificiary as he powered to victory and became the first overall leader.
Henderson was right in the mix after a great lead-out from Team Sky and he took third, just behind Manuel Belletti (Colnago-CSF Inox).
Afterwards Henderson was quick to thank his team for the lead-out, tweeting: "Cheers @russdowning and @teamsky. Great job but sorry I couldn't finish it off. Hesitated on the wheel and got jumped. 3rd for today."
The story of the stage had seen a three-man break of Richie Porte (Saxo Bank), Wout Poels (Vacansoleil) and Jack Bauer (Endura) pull clear of the peloton and open up an advantage of 5:35 at one point.
That was the signal for Team Sky to move to the front of the peloton and the gap soon started to come down.
As the pressure increased, Bauer was dropped from the leading group and Porte was the last man caught with just under 20km to go.
Porte at least has the consolation of the sprints jersey while Poels is the early leader in the King of the Mountains classification and also won the day's combativity prize.
Good day's work
Afterwards we caught up with Team Sky's 2nd DS Dan Hunt to get his insight on the stage and he told us: "The peloton was happy enough to let the break go but when the gap opened up to around five and a half minutes we started to ride to bring that back.
"We rode pretty much on our own as a team on the front until the last of the King of the Mountains checkpoints, when Skil-Shimano and Columbia joined in with the chase.
"The three of us pretty much controlled it after the break was caught and there was a really good and well organised lead-out from us but we just got pipped in the end by Greipel."
A feature of the stage had been the huge numbers of Team Sky fans, something Hunt was keen to highlight as he added: "There was a massive amount of support for us - right from this morning in the car parks at the start and then all through the route to the finish at Blackpool. Everyone was surrounding the bus and it was great to see."