Simon Gerrans played it cool to take an impressive third place at the prestigious Amstel Gold Race.
The Aussie was able to sneak into an elite breakaway bunch before producing a strong finishing kick on the Cauberg to round out the podium places in the Dutch classic.
Some astute riding saw Gerrans well placed at the front of the peloton with 20 kilometres remaining when an Alexandr Kolobnev (Katusha) attack split the bunch on the Eyserbosweg.
The 30-year-old opted to conserve his energy as others attacked in vain around him during a nail-biting finale, netting a strong result to cap a successful day for the team.
A few metres up the road Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) took the race victory after a stunning display of strength in the closing kilometres to ride away from Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) on the punchy final climb.
Andy Schleck (Leopard Trek) looked like he had snatched victory with a brave 12km solo effort on the descent of the Keutenberg, a move that saw Gilbert pressed into action on the front to lead a pursuit that saw Schleck caught on the opening metres of the Cauberg.
The result capped a strong team performance as the riders positioned themselves well in a notoriously technical and dangerous race.
Speaking after the finish sports director Marcus Ljungqvist gave a glowing report after a successful day in Limberg.
“It was a very nice result and I’m happy for Simon and the whole team. They did really good today,” he said.
“Simon had to wait and to conserve his energy with the numbers there in the group it was the only way. He has a good sprint, especially on climbs like that, and it turned out really well.
“At the end he really had the legs. It has been a great day, for sure.
“You need the luck with punctures and we didn’t have any mechanical problems today. The team did a really great job in keeping Simon, Steve and Lars-Petter safe in a good position and out of trouble."
Attention now shifts to Wednesday and the second of the three Ardennes Classics, La Flèche Wallonne.
“The form bodes well and nice results today will boost morale even more - I am sure about that,” Ljungqvist added.
“We will have a day or two of rest now but we are already really looking forward to the next week.”