Michael Rogers and Edvald Boasson Hagen secured fourth and seventh places respectively for Team Sky as the Tour Down Under came to a close.
The pairing were able to consolidate positions inside the top 10 during stage six in the centre of Adelaide to get the 2012 season off to a strong start for the team with a glut of WorldTour points.
Boasson Hagen placed sixth on the line in the criterium to secure the sprint jersey but was unable to fight for the stage win after become distanced in the final metres. Chris Sutton also narrowly missed out on the top 10 after kicking early.
Fourth overall represented a strong return to form for Rogers after a frustrating season in 2011 spent largely on the sidelines through illness.
The Australian put that behind him with a spirited performance on Old Willunga Hil on Saturday to ensure he started off the season with a bang.
The final stage saw the overall lead go down to the wire with former Team Sky rider Simon Gerrans holding on to the slenderest of overnight advantages to secure victory at his national tour for the debuting GreenEDGE squad.
Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) also finished the Tour Down Under the way he started it after taking victory on the final stage ahead of Mark Renshaw (Rabobank) and Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre).
After the stage Boasson Hagen admitted the jersey was a nice reward but he had hoped to challenge for the podium.
He said: "I’m happy to get the jersey but the main goal was to get the victory in this race.
"I lost the train a bit today so I feel sorry for the guys. It didn’t quite work out which was a pity but I’m happy for all the work the team did for me this week.
"It’s still early in the season. I’ve had a great time in Australia with some good weather and good racing.
"I head back to Norway for a week now before heading to Mallorca and it’s full-on racing from Volta Algarve onwards."
Sports Director Sean Yates was encouraged by the team's performance at an early stage of the season, adding: "The team rode to their best. In general the race and our time in Australia has been very positive but it's slightly disappointing the fact that we didn’t win a stage.
"It’s nice to have Mick back getting fourth overall. Third place was still possible today with Edvald if he’d won the stage and that’s what we were going for but it doesn’t always work out. It did the last two years, it didn’t this time.
"Hats off to Greipel who won four stages and he showed he is sprinting the best at the moment."
The day began with Gerrans and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) sitting level in the standings in what was sure to be a nail-biting finale with a combined 16 seconds up for grabs across 20 laps of the 4.5-kilometre circuit.
The tactics for GreenEDGE were clear, with the team of Gerrans attempting to put a man in every break from the off in a bid to remove the possibility of bonus seconds for Valverde.
The first significant move of the race came on lap five as a 16-man move went clear featuring representatives from over half the teams in the bunch, a situation which became dangerous enough to cause Mathew Hayman to bridge across for Team Sky.
A huge effort from the Rabobank squad saw the gap closed down in time for the first intermediate sprint of the race, yet none of the main contenders were able to claim bonus seconds as a small group chipped clear.
The second sprint at the end of lap 12 saw no change at the head of the leaderboard but did allow Jan Bakelants (RadioShack-Nissan) to move up to sixth overall as he jumped away to claim three seconds.
With Bakelants continuing on to become the virtual leader the chase was on in the final laps, yet it was breakaway counterpart Cameron Meyer (GreenEDGE) who unleashed a gutsy last-gasp attack to no avail.
Viewers can catch extended highlights at 0900-1100 (Sky Sports 3), 1500-1700 (SS3), 1730-1930 (SS2), 2100-2300 (SS4), January 23 at 0230-0530 (SS4), 0900-1100 (SS3), and 1500-1700 (SS3).
The highlights are also available on Sky Go.