Team Sky's Sergio Henao came agonisingly close to holding off the pack but had to settle for ninth place on stage three of the Tour de Pologne which was won by Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-QuickStep).
The Colombian jumped clear of the peloton on the final short climb and quickly powered up to Marek Rutkiewicz (Polish National Team) who was out in front on his own following a counter-attack with Matteo Trentin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and Jussi Veikkanen.
Rutkiewicz had dropped his fellow escapees and was able to latch onto the Henao's wheel as he came past, with the two flying along the flat roads and up the cobbled incline to the finish.
At one point it looked as though they would hold the peloton off, but the sprinters from the bunch came past them just in time, with former cyclocross star Stybar negotiating the final turn in front and holding on to win.
Francesco Gavazzi (Astana) took second on the stage ahead of Sacha Modolo (Colnago-CSF Inox), with Michal Kwiatkowski making it two Omega Pharma-QuickStep riders in the top four.
Liquigas-Cannondale rider Moreno Moser came across the line in fifth place to maintain his position as overall leader of the race.
A three-man breakaway had formed early in the 201.7 kilometre stage, with Gabriele Bosisio (Utensilnord-Named), Fumiyuki Beppu (Orica-GreenEDGE) and Mateusz Taciak (Polish National Team) going up the road.
The trio at one point had a huge advantage of 17 minutes on the main bunch but were still reeled in well before the end of the stage, only for Rutkiewicz and Henao to take it down to the wire before Stybar's late thrust settled the issue.
After the stage we caught up with Sports Director Nicolas Portal who was very happy to see the team riding with confidence and to nearly take a second consecutive victory.
"It was a really good explosive attack from Sergio and it nearly came off at the finish," he said.
"We knew it was a hard circuit and we wanted to protect our three GC guys. The team did a great job to move up into a good position and close down the gaps. We tried to attack a few times with Ian and then Flecha and then on the last climb Sergio went with Lars-Petter in his wheel. Sergio had the better legs but it was great to see them try the move together.
"Sergio got very close to the stage win, and with the GC so close he could have potentially taken the leader's jersey. It was a really exciting finish and it is great to see the team riding so well together."