Katusha may have been narrowly edged out of top spot in stage 4 of the Giro d'Italia by team time trial gurus, Garmin-Barracuda, but team leader Joaquim Rodriguez was left with much to smile about having put time into all his key general classification rivals.
I'm very happy because we gained seconds over all the other favourites, and this gives me strong motivations and a great morale
Katusha finished five seconds off the pace, a solid result for a squad not normally considered strong in the discipline. In doing so, Rodriguez moved into tenth overall; 10 seconds ahead of Roman Kreuziger, and a further seven clear of Ivan Basso.
Rodriguez said that despite missing the stage win he couldn't have been happier with the team's performance.
"The team did a spectacular team time trial. We couldn't have gone a second faster."
"I'm very happy about this result." added sporting director Valerio Piva.
"The goal was to lose as little time as possible, the dream was to enter the top-5.
"The result was totally unexpected,: we have to thank our guys, they were extraordinary."
Rodriguez won La Fleche Wallone for the first time in April, and has come to the Giro d'Italia good form.
The Spaniard's best result in the Giro d'Italia came last year when he finished fourth overall.