Ben Swift says he missed Team Sky’s unity as he took a podium finish in the Volta a Valenciana stage two sprint.
The Brit is making his 2019 debut at the Spanish stage race after re-joining his home team at the start of the season.
Team Sky charged in the closing kilometres, but were swamped by solo efforts from rival sprinters in the final turns as Swift held on to take third.
The 31-year-old said: “The guys were incredible – it’s what I’ve really missed, that real team unity.
“We waited ever so slightly too long just as we started the final push on the lead-out.”
Fellow Brit Chris Lawless was the final lead-out man supporting Swift in the final kilometre.
But sprinters Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) and stage winner Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) passed the remains of the Sky lead-out heading into the final two turns, with Trentin taking the glory.
Swift added: “They came up three or four kph faster than us so it was just about trying to catch up.
“It was a really good job from the guys and the legs are feeling good.
“With Chris [Lawless] being a second year pro it’s really good experience for him to do a lead-out.
“He’s going to be the sprinter for this team in the next couple of years, so for him to learn what he needs and what he wants of a lead-out rider is good.”
Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas was also working for Swift, leading the race with 10km left to race.
Thomas and team-mate Diego Rosa are the best placed Team Sky riders after stage two, both sitting 20 seconds down to race leader Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data).
Swift added: “It’s nice to get a good result.
“It shows I’ve been training pretty well and I handled the climbs really well.
“But in hindsight I wish I’d gone a little bit earlier.”
The race continues with a hilly third stage that is likely to separate the general classification further.