Cameron Meyer (Orica-GreenEDGE) won stage two of the Tour de Suisse, denying Team Sky a WorldTour double on the day.
On a day when Mikel Nieve won the final stage of the Criterium du Dauphine, though Chris Froome could not seal overall victory, Philip Deignan (Team Sky) stayed out in the break all day in Switzerland.
The Irishman and Larry Warbasse (BMC Racing) repeatedly distanced Meyer – a stage winner last year too – and their former breakaway companions but every time the Australian recovered.
And having ensured it would be the three of them contesting the sprint, Meyer came around his two breakaway companions to seal his first individual win of the season.
The three had joined Reto Hollenstein (IAM Cycling), Frederik Veuchelen (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Bjorn Thurau (Team Europcar) to form the day’s break.
Linus Gerdemann (MTN-Qhubeka) attempted to bridge to the leaders but the group stayed clear at the front on a day which featured the hors categorie climbs of the Gotthardpass and Furkapass.
Their lead hovered around the five-and-a-half minute mark, with Cannondale leading the chase and race leader Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) staying safe in the peloton.
With a tough parcours awaiting, it was little surprise to see the sprinters quickly dropped from the bunch – Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) among them – though Ben Swift (Team Sky) and Peter Sagan (Cannondale) stayed safely in the bunch.
Veuchelen was the first to be dropped by the break, suffering on the descent of the Furkapass, but the remaining five stayed together with their gap cut to nearer three minutes.
Deignan and Warbasse launched their first attack inside the final 26km, the Irishman – a perennial escapee at the Giro d’Italia – determined to seal a first win in Team Sky colours.
The duo eked out an advantage on the long descent of the Grimselpass – Meyer having suffered a mechanical requiring a bike change behind them.
Thurau caught them, with Meyer in hot pursuit, but no sooner had the four come back together than Deignan and Warbasse attacked again on the category-two Brunigpass.
It was not enough to deny Thurau the King of the Mountains jersey however, the German taking the first red jersey of this year’s race.
In the bunch, the attacks and counter-attacks started further back though Tony Martin stayed safely near the front, while Sir Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) was among the riders tucked in further back.
Martin proved his climbing strength by sticking near the front of the bunch throughout despite his team-mates, many of them centred around Cavendish’s sprint, being distanced on the tough ascents.
Despite the upping of the pace in the bunch however, led by Cannondale, the two leaders remained out in front as they hit the final five kilometres with Sagan’s hopes of a stage win fast deteriorating.
Just as it looked as though Deignan and Warbasse would contest the stage however, Meyer rejoined them after a fierce descent.
He was greeted by a look of surprise from the Irishman, who perhaps sensed his odds of prevailing in the sprint had been cut.
And so it proved – Warbasse leading it out inside the final kilometre, while Meyer fiddled with his shoes.
The American, awarded the combativity award for his efforts on the day, zig-zagged across the road as he fought to retain position.
Meyer sat patiently at third wheel however, before bursting into life with less than 200 metres to go.
The Australian rounded the two, holding off Deignan who had to settle for second, as he celebrated yet more success for Orica-GreenEDGE this season.
Further back, Sagan out-sprinted Swift from the bunch, perhaps emphasising the fact he had missed out on a stage win, but doing enough to seal the points jersey as a consolation.
Martin, meanwhile, finished safely in the bunch to ensure he will wear the yellow jersey again on the undulating stage three.
Tour de Suisse 2014: stage two – result
1) Cameron Meyer (AUS) – Orica-GreenEDGE – 5.08.18hrs
2) Philip Deignan (IRL) – Team Sky – ST
3) Larry Warbasse (USA) – BMC Racing
4) Peter Sagan (SVK) – Cannondale +14”
5) Ben Swift (GBR) – Team Sky
6) Silvan Dillier (SUI) – BMC Racing
7) Koen de Kort (NED) – Giant-Shimano
8) Nino Schurter (SUI) – Orica-GreenEDGE
9) Enrico Gasparatto (ITA) – Astana
10) Alexandr Kolobnev (RUS) – Ag2r-La Mondiale
1) Tony Martin (GER) – Omega Pharma-Quickstep – 5.22.20hrs
2) Tom Dumoulin (NED) – Giant-Shimano +6”
3) Rohan Dennis (AUS) – Garmin-Sharp +13”
4) Peter Sagan (SVK) – Cannondale +19”
5) Bauke Mollema (NED) – Belkin Pro Cycling +22”
6) Tom-Jelte Slagter (NED) – Garmin-Sharp +23”
7) Philip Deignan (IRL) – Team Sky +27”
8) Ion Izaguirre (ESP) – Movistar – ST
9) Mattia Cattaneo (ITA) – Lampre-Merida +29”
10) Peter Kennaugh (GBR) – Team Sky – ST