Rory Townsend sprinted to seventh spot as Bike Aid’s Lucas Carstensen won stage five of the Rás Tailteann.
The 22-year-old, who continues his comeback from a broken collarbone, was firmly in the mix on the uphill drag in Mitchelstown on Thursday.
However, his German rival’s powerful charge proved decisive on a day Matt Nowell shrugged off his injuries to star in the breakaway.
Nowell, who sprinted to 14th and 10th on the opening two stages, spent 134 of the 150km up the road following heavy crashes on stages two and four.
The 21-year-old, from Northwich, was heavily bandaged but that did not stop him cruising to maximum points on two of the three KOMs.
Townsend’s result means each of Canyon Eisberg’s five-man squad have recorded a top-10 stage finish in the opening five days of the UCI 2.2 race.
Louis Rose-Davies was involved in a crash in the final 2km but will be given the same time as the main bunch, retaining second place in the youth classification and 12th overall.
The 19-year-old, from Surrey, took a bang to his knee but otherwise escaped from the pile-up unscathed.
Alongside Max Stedman (19th), Rose-Davies trails race leader Cyrille Thiery by 35 seconds with three stages remaining.
After an early dig from Dexter Gardias as the race left Glengarriff, it was his team-mate Nowell who escaped with three companions at the 15km mark.
The 21-year-old, from Northwich, was joined by Holdsworth’s Italian rider Seid Lizde, stage two winner Robert John McCarthy and Saint Piran’s Joe Evans.
And the quartet had eked out a 22-second lead as they began the opening climb of the day, the category two Pass of Keimaneigh.
Evans beat Nowell to the summit, although the Canyon Eisberg rider went one better and won the next KOM on the category two Gortnabinna.
With 50km of the stage ticked off now, the breakaway enjoyed a 2min 30sec advantage over the peloton.
The Swiss national team briefly upped the ante, reducing the gap to little more than a minute at one point in service of the yellow jersey.
However, the lead quickly ballooned again. And when Evans was dropped inside the final 30km, the remaining trio had an advantage of 2.15.
The Swiss squad called for help at the front of the peloton as they set a searing pace to reduce the deficit to 90 seconds with 20km to go.
That help was in short supply, though. Instead, Jelly Belly’s Taylor Shelden launched an optimistic attack off the front.
The American’s move was snuffed out with 15km to go but the leading trio still had more than a minute on the peloton, which was now beginning to fracture.
Nowell took maximum points on the final KOM of the day – the category three Kildorrey – and with 10km remaining the gap stood at 48 seconds.
And that advantage had only been trimmed to 31 seconds as they cruised into the final 5km with a real chance of victory.
But just as quickly as those hopes of glory had appeared, they were dashed. The peloton made the catch with little more than 1km to go.
The chase had taken its toll, with a number of riders hitting the deck as the pace continued to crank up on the streets of Mitcheltown. Rose-Davies was one of those to be brought down in the melee.
A late solo bid from a Jelly Belly rider came to nothing and Carstensen, of the German Bike Aid team, sprinted to victory on the uphill drag.
Belgian Robbe Ghys was second with Townsend a split second further adrift in a superb seventh place. Click here for the full result when it is published.