Discovery Channel's team manager was full of praise for Paolo Savoldelli's performance on Stage 13, which saw him attack the maglia rosa of Ivan Basso and take the race lead off his fellow Italian.
"The stage win from the other day [Stage 11] was great but today I think he rode like a champion," said Bruyneel in a team statement.
"He went with Simoni and he attacked without any doubt, he just went with him. When he saw Basso was in trouble, he took over and then dropped Simoni. He said after he had a great day, had very good legs. If you now look at it, if he didn't lose all that time in the beginning behind that crash [on Stage 4], his lead would be around one and a half minutes."
However, Bruyneel maintained that the team is still not thinking about winning overall: "It's better to be ahead than behind, but we have to remain realistic and just think about the podium. That's been my goal since the start, the podium, and it's still like that. We are not thinking about winning the Giro," he said.
Assistant sports manager Sean Yates also said with that increased pressure that comes with the maglia rosa, coupled with the loss of Tom Danielson early last week and Ryder Hesjedal on Saturday, the team will have to take things day by day.
"We'll have to make the best of what we have," said Yates. "Our main rivals are obvious and the peloton has to look out for them. Everyone else will stare at us. There is still a long way to go to Milan and the team we have now is not the strongest at the moment. We'll have to take it day by day. One thing is certain - they have to make up the time, so we're in the driver's seat."
Savoldelli finished Stage 14 in 10th place, 3'42 behind stage winner Ivan Parra (Selle Italia-Colombia), and kept his lead in the race by 25 seconds from Danilo Di Luca (Liquigas-Bianchi).