Team Sky's Lars-Petter Nordhaug, Sergio Henao and Rigoberto Urán all finished in a reduced front group on the opening stage of the Tour de Pologne.
They were 11th, 12th and 15th respectively in a 36-man selection which chased home stage winner Moreno Moser (Liquigas-Cannondale).
Moser got the better of Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and Lars Boom (Rabobank) in the sprint to the line to take an early overall lead and the first yellow jersey of the race.
The 179km stage from Golebiewski Karpacz to Jelenia Gora - which featured four 39.2km laps - had been expected to shape the early general classification.
A five-man breakaway group comprising Sylvain Georges (AG2R La Mondiale), Jarosław Marycz (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank), Bartłomiej Matysiak (Reprezentacja Polski), Daniel Teklehaimanot (Orica-GreenEDGE) and Federico Rocchetti (Utensilnord Named) had gone clear early and opened up a lead of nine minutes.
They were still six minutes ahead with 60km remaining at which point Henao attacked off the front of the main pack and the gap soon started to tumble.
It was down to 3:20 starting the final circuit but cresting the top of the last climb with just over 20km remaining it was virtually all back together.
Bad luck for Swift
It was at that point that a puncture at a key time dashed Ben Swift's hopes of contesting the final sprint, as Sports Director Nicolas Portal explained.
He told us: "It was all looking really good for us at the top of the last climb when we had six riders right up there.
"But Swifty had a puncture at a bad time so Ian [Stannard, in his first race as the newly-crowned British champion] gave him his wheel so he could try and bridge back the gap.
"However [Juan Antonio] Flecha then had a puncture too and those three riders just lost touch with the front group which was a real shame.
"But the whole team rode really strongly today and it was good to have Lars-Petter, Sergio and Rigo right up there at the end."
Colombian duo Henao and Urán were both having their first race since excelling at the Giro d'Italia and Portal added: "Sergio felt like he had really good legs today and I hope he can do something good this week. It's a first race back for them but they are both in excellent shape."
Going into the closing stages Christophe Le Mevel (Garmin-Sharp) moved clear 6km out before he was overhauled by Alexander Kolobnev (Katusha) and the Russian looked like he might just hold off the pack.
But the long uphill drag to the finish just proved too much for Kolobnev and he was swallowed up in the final 400 metres, with Moser timing his move perfectly as he surged up the left of the road to claim a clear-cut success.
Nordhaug, Henao and Urán will start day two just 10 seconds adrift of Moser, with the second stage from Walbrzych to Opole the longest of the race at 239.4km but one which is expected to come down to a bunch sprint.
And Portal hopes that could provide a belated opportunity for Swift, adding: "It should be a good stage for Swifty and we'll do everything we can to help make sure he's in the right position to challenge."