A late crash 500 metres from the line cost Edvald Boasson Hagen the chance of challenging for a podium place at the Grand Prix de Montréal on Sunday evening.
The young Norwegian, who had advertised his fine form with a second place in Québec 48 hours earlier, looked perfectly poised in a six-man chase group which was closing on Rabobank's Robert Gesink towards the end of the 15th and final lap around the 12.6 kilometres course.
Team Sky's Sports Director Carsten Jeppesen explained what happened next, saying: "Edvald was sprinting for second and with a really good sprint he could have been close to Gesink.
"But the last corner was a U-turn and Edvald tried to pedal a fraction too early out of it and hit his pedal, crashing out of contention. Otherwise you never know what would have happened - he was pretty confident that he would have at least won the sprint for second."
In the event none of the other five chasers were able to deny Gesink a battling victory, the Dutchman getting full reward for launching a gutsy attack right at the start of the final lap.
It looked touch and go whether he would be able to hold off the select chase group which also included Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Transitions) , Maxime Monfort (HTC-Columbia), Peter Sagan (Liquigas), Haimar Zubeldia (RadioShack) and Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel).
But Gesink somehow found extra reserves to claim the victory by four seconds, with Sagan in second and home hope Hesjedal in third. Boasson Hagen was soon back on his bike and eventually ended up at the back of the front group in 34th, 55 seconds back.
Gesink's win came in front of big crowds who had lined the streets for the second of the UCI ProTour's groundbreaking two-race visit to North America and afterwards he said: "I'm really happy to have won a one-day ProTour race, it's been a big goal of mine.
"I was feeling really good but knew I had to wait and wait before making my move on the final lap. It was difficult to delay but when I went I gave it everything and just managed to hold on - the last 500 metres were so hard as the others closed and I'm very pleased I was able to cross the line in front."
While disappointed that Boasson Hagen just missed out, Jeppesen was keen to pay tribute to what he called "a really strong team performance" from Team Sky.
"They worked so hard all day for Edvald and did a brilliant job. With Edvald showing his good form on Friday we had to take that responsibility to be on the front and it was a good solid ride by all of them."
And as Team Sky's Head of Operations Jeppesen was also full of praise for the two Canadian races which have been added to the ProTour this year, adding: "It's been really, really impressive. They've been good, selective courses with lots of enthusiastic fans and I believe they thoroughly deserve their places on the calendar - it's been a very worthwhile trip."