Edvald Boasson Hagen took a top-10 finish on stage two of Tirreno-Adriatico in the bunch sprint into Arezzo.
The 23-year-old placed eighth on the line following a tough run-in that saw many of the candidates for the stage victory distanced.
Chris Sutton dropped the Norwegian onto the wheel of Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervelo) brilliantly but the American sprinter showed his form by taking a win on the line from Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD).
J.J. Haedo (SaxoBank-Sungard) took a strong third place while pre-stage favourites Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) and Daniele Bennati (Leopard Trek) found themselves well down the order.
Courtesy of his bonus points on the line, Farrar moved into a two-second lead ahead of Tom Leezer and the former Maglia Azzurra holder Lars Boom (both Rabobank).
With the day's three-man breakaway reeled in with over 40km from the finish, the bunch was forced to see off a number of late attacks, clearly inspired by a twisty run into Arezzo.
Speaking after the stage sports director Marcus Ljungqvist explained the team were happy to stay out of trouble on a "pretty straightforward day."
He said: "The finish was quite chaotic in the final kilometres and it was a bit dangerous in places, but we stayed out of trouble so that was good.
"In the end we maybe came a little bit short in the sprint. [Edvald] had a good position but the guys beating him are really good sprinters and we weren't really on top of it today - but we will try again tomorrow.
"CJ did a good job and the whole team did well to get him up there so it was not too bad."
With the team's GC hopefuls all finishing safely in the peloton, Ljungqvist was happy to report it had been smooth sailing in a stage that had caught out a few.
"Katusha really put the hammer down on the last big climb and the group actually split in two when [Mark] Cavendish got distanced, but we were all okay," he added.
"For our GC guys it was really good, we just need to keep them out of trouble on the flatter days."
A similar stage looks in store on Friday for the trip to Perugia, yet with a climb coming 25km from home, the Swede expected some riders to chance their arm.
"That's a proper climb at the end so I think a few people will have a go on that one."