Geraint Thomas finished safely in the bunch on stage five to clinch second place overall at Bayern Rundfahrt.
The Welshman cemented the position he gained in Saturday’s time trial and was protected by his Team Sky team-mates on the final day of racing to finish on the podium in tough conditions.
Thomas ended the race behind young Italian Adriano Malori (Lampre-Merida) who had moved into yellow a day earlier and stayed upright into Nuremberg.
At the finish it was Heinrich Haussler (IAM Cycling) who claimed victory, the Australian taking his first win for the Swiss outfit ahead of Juan Jose Lobato (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Yauheni Hutarovich (AG2R-La Mondiale). Ben Swift was the first Team Sky rider home in 11th.
Thomas began the final day 23 seconds off the lead of Malori but just three ahead of Jan Barta (NetApp-Endura) and that was the way the podium would remain.
Ian Stannard completed a strong race for Team Sky on his return from a break following the Classics, holding on to eighth overall.
The 169.8km final test got off to an undulating start with a tough pace and cross-winds briefly splitting the field into three groups. In the melee a number of attackers tried to forge clear, with four riders eventually making it happen.
Mikael Cherel (AG2R-La Mondiale), Jetse Bol (Blanco Cycling), Grischa Janorschke (Nutrition Sparkasse) and Alex Frame (Thuringer Energie) combined to push their advantage out to four minutes as FDJ and Lampre-Merida worked on the front.
The gap had fallen significantly as the race arrived into Nuremberg for the first of 11 laps with Team Sky starting to make their presence felt on the front. A number of sprinters’ teams did the same as the pace rose to a crescendo.
Race Coach Kurt-Asle Arvesen filled us in on an incredibly difficult day as the weather played a role in splitting the race to pieces.
“Considering the really tough situation with the weather everything went well,” he confirmed. “It was raining hard all day and with the cross-winds it turned out to be a really tough stage. The peloton were split into different groups all day. In the end there were only around 60 or 70 guys in the front group and those were the only guys who finished the race.
We tried to set something up in the sprint but it was carnage towards the end and we didn’t want to take any risks. There were a few tired legs out there today after all the work we’ve done. But second with G is a great result. We were just beaten by the better rider yesterday in the time trial. We couldn’t have done anything differently.”