Sir Bradley Wiggins lost valuable time after a fall during the seventh stage of the Giro d'Italia sent him plumetting down the overall standings.
Heavy rain made descending treacherous and Wiggins slipped off during a tight bend late in the race, losing 90 seconds in the process.
He dropped from sixth to 23rd overall, one minute and 32 seconds behind the new race leader, Benat Intxausti Elorriaga, while Australian Adam Hansen claimed the stage win.
But Team Sky principal Sir Dave Brailsford insisted there was no long term damage, despite Wiggins appearing to be in pain with with elbow.
And he hopes the Tour de France winner will reduce arrears during a trademark 55km time trial tomorrow, while a fall from fellow race favourite Vincenzo Nibali also limited the damage in the race for the maglia rosa.
"The time Brad lost was a bit of a disaster for him. He would have been looking to take time out of his rivals in the time trial; now he is playing catch-up," he said.
"It is likely to keep Brad out of the pink jersey as race leader this weekend, which is not a bad thing because we are so early in the race, but he is untested in the kind of climbs he will face against his rivals in future stages and we don't really know what sort of buffer he needs going into them - only time will tell.
"On paper it looked like a big day. There were no major climbs but it was all up and down so we knew it was going to be tough.
"I was expecting the general classification guys to rein themselves in a little bit and just get themselves through with the time trial coming up on Saturday.
"But the weather played a massive part in the stage. Notably the break stayed away, and it was a fantastic win for Adam Hansen. Behind him the whole race exploded.
"Unfortunately for Bradley Wiggins, he came out worse. He was getting distanced and then chasing back, which was part of the problem. He was trying to gain ground and came off. I would imagine he was pushing things a little bit too much.
"All his rivals knew that, because Cadel Evans went hard and so did Vincenzo Nibali. It was fantastic riding by Nibali, typical of his style, but obviously he ended up on the deck as well."
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