Team Sky fought hard on a tough parcours to place ninth at the World Team Time Trial Championships.
The squad of Edvald Boasson Hagen, Alex Dowsett, Juan Antonio Flecha, Sergio Henao, Ian Stannard and Geraint Thomas dug deep on the 53.2-kilometre course to clock a time of one hour, four minutes and 49 seconds.
At the finish it was Omega Pharma - Quick-Step who came out on top, the Belgian squad riding well as a unit and finishing with all six riders at the line in Limburg.
1:03:17 was the time good enough to win the inaugural running of the trade team showdown, BMC Racing coming closest in the challenge for the gold medals, 3.2 seconds back.
The most famous climb in Holland, the Cauberg, caused problems for a number of teams as the crucial fourth-timed man became distanced heading into the final kilometre.
Orica-GreenEdge rounded out the podium 47 seconds adrift as the World Championship week kicked off with a tough, undulating parcours.
A new addition to the World Championship programme, 32 teams were in action from the top three tiers of international cycling in a bid to secure bragging rights for the next 12 months.
Six-man squads rolled down the ramp in Sittard-Geleen with at least four riders needing to still be in touch at the finish to stop the clock.
As the WorldTour teams began to arrive at the line it was Liquigas-Cannondale who went quickest early on, setting a benchmark time of 1:04:21 which would eventually be good enough for fourth spot.
The contest quickly began to look like a two-horse race with Omega Pharma - Quick-Step and BMC lighting up the time sheets.
In the end it was the combination of Tony Martin, Tom Boonen, Peter Velits, Kristof Vandewalle, Sylvain Chavanel and Niki Terpstra who took to the top step of the podium.
Sports Director Sean Yates was pleased with the effort the team showed to battle back from a few issues out on course.
“It was a hard race," he admitted. "A team time trial is always tough at the best of times, but when you have a few hills thrown in, some tired bodies, and a little bit of misfortune it’s even more so.
“Ninth doesn’t sound very impressive but a lot of the guys have come from some tough races. That’s also the case for a lot of teams but the bottom line is that you can’t win them all.
“Sergio wasn’t quite on it today. That's understandable as he’d been brought in last-minute for Mick who was sick. He’s had a long season as a first-year pro. G had a mechanical after dropping his chain. We had to wait a little bit after Ian helped him. That could have bumped us up into the top five, which would have been good under the circumstances.
“But the boys fought back well. We had four guys for the last 20km and they climbed up the rankings a bit before the finish. They kept on fighting to the end but didn’t give up.”