Dexter Gardias was denied a shot at breakaway glory as Delta Cycling Rotterdam claimed a one-two in grim conditions on stage seven of the An Post Ras.
The BIKE Channel Canyon man formed part of the first significant move as the peloton set sail from Donegal to Ardee amid heavy rain.
But despite scrapping hard for 30km, the seven-man attack was eventually reeled in before five riders escaped in the day’s decisive break.
Daan Meijers clinched glory ahead of team-mate Jan-Willem van Schip as the latter move held off the chasing peloton in the 167.3km dash.
Stage five winner Regan Gough, from An Post Chain Reaction, finished third before Ireland’s Daragh O’Mahony and ROG – Ljubljana’s Tilen Finkst completed the top five.
Meanwhile, Gardias was left to roll in with the peloton. Mitchell Webber and George Atkins came in a few second later, with Alex Richardson just less than half an hour adrift.
Meijers’ victory saw him tear the points jersey from the grasp of team-mate Dennis Bakker, while Michael O’Loughlin, of Team Wiggins, retained his lead in the youth classification.
JLT Condor’s James Gullen finished in the bunch to maintain his 1min 5sec advantage in yellow and, with no categorised climbs, Przemysław Kasperkiewicz’s mountains jersey did not come under threat.
Van Schip had been part of the first significant break of the day, which included Gardias, along with Alex Blain, of Madison Genesis, and Neon Velo’s Marc Potts.
But despite their best efforts in the rain, that group never got more than 30 seconds before they were reabsorbed on the approach to Lisnaskea with a shade under 100km of the stage remaining.
A group of 14, including race leader Gullen, were next to clip off the front before the decisive move went with 75km remaining.
Van Schip, who won stage two, was this time accompanied by Gough, Irish talent O’Mahony, Slovenian Finkst and fellow Delta Cycling man Meijers.
Moreno de Pauw had attempted to bridge the gap for Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise but his efforts came to nothing as the break enjoyed an advantage of three minutes at one stage.
The peloton finally began to eat into that advantage with 40km to go but failed to make the catch, leaving stage six winner Yannis Yssaad, of Armee de Terre, to take the bunch kick for sixth position. Click here for the full result.