He may have only finished 15th in this 15km final time trail stage of the 2010 Giro d'Italia but it was enough to seal the overall victory for Ivan Basso of the Liquigas team.
It was the end of the most entertaining edition of the Giro d'Italia for years with the weather conditions and sheer tortuousness of the course, especially in the last week, all adding up to a gripping race.
The final time trail in Verona with possibly the most spectacular finish ever in the centre of the Roman amphitheatre was taken by Swede Gustav Larsson (Saxo Bank) in 20:19 just two seconds ahead of Marco Pinotti (HTC-Columbia) and 17 before Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana). The former as Italian National Time Trial Champion determined to make a good show in front of a home crowd and the latter still fighting doggedly as he had done on every single stage from beginning to end.
But if we have to look for stellar performances apart from the obvious overall winner, we would be spoilt for choice. David Arroyo of Caisse d'Epargne wore the maglia rosa for five days and then defended until the last, still in second place and a new hero to many. Cadel Evans (BMC), as persistant but at least a bit more cheerful than Vino came in 4th on the stage, 5th overall and top on points.
Best of all, young Australian Richie Porte also had his moment in the pink jersey, valiantly defended to finish 7th admittedly with superb support from his Saxo Bank team and looking like a big prospect for the future; he had the consolation of winning Best Young Rider.
And there was even a high spot for Team GB where Bradley Wiggins won the first time trial stage and even though his hope of a win in the finale faded to 7th place, no doubt his Sky team will feel satisfied that some useful preparation for the Tour de France in five weeks has been achieved, which was their stated objective. Training rides don't get any better than this.
Giro d'Italia Stage 21 Top 20 result
1 Gustav Larsson (SWE) Saxo Bank 20:19 2 Marco Pinotti (ITA) HTC-Columbia 20:21 at 0:02 3 Alexandre Vinokourov(KAZ) Astana 20:36 at 0:17 4 Cadel Evans (AUS) BMC 20:41 at 0:22 5 Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) Liquigas-Doimo 20:42 at 0:23 6 Ignatas Konovalovas (LTU) Cervélo TestTeam 20:42 at 0:23 7 Bradley Wiggins (GBR) Sky 20:48 at 0:29 8 Cameron Meyer (AUS) Garmin-Transitions20:51 at 0:32 9 Michele Scarponi (ITA) Androni Giocattoli20:54 at 0:35 10 Tom Stamsnijder (NED) Rabobank 20:56 at 0:37 11 Richie Porte (AUS) Saxo Bank 20:58 at 0:39 12 Vasil Kiryienka (BLR) Caisse D’Epargne 20:58 at 0:39 13 Evgeni Petrov (RUS) Katusha 20:58 at 0:39 14 Jos Van Emden (NED) Rabobank 21:00 at 0:41 15 Ivan Basso (ITA) Liquigas-Doimo 21:01 at 0:42 16 Gregory Henderson (NZL) Sky 21:04 at 0:45 17 Matthias Russ (GER) Milram 21:04 at 0:45 18 Mauricio Cano (COL) Rabobank 21:07 at 0:48 19 Matthias Brandle (AUT) Footon–Servetto 21:13 at 0:54 20 Vladimir Karpets (RUS) Katusha 21:13 at 0:54
Giro d'Italia 2010 Top 20 final overall
1 Ivan Basso (ITA) Liquigas-Doimo 87:44:01 2 David Arroyo (ESP) Caisse D’Epargne 1:51 3 Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) Liquigas-Doimo 2:37 4 Michele Scarponi (ITA) Androni Gicattoli 2:50 5 Cadel Evans (AUS) BMC 3:27 6 Alexandre Vinokourov(KAZ) Astana 7:06 7 Richie Porte (AUS) Saxo Bank 7:22 8 Carlos Sastre (ESP) Cervélo TestTeam 9:39 9 Marco Pinotti (ITA) HTC-Columbia 14:20 10 Robert Kiserlovski (CRO) Liquigas-Doimo 14:51 11 Damiano Cunego (ITA) Lampre-Farnese Vini 17:10 12 Bauke Mollema (NED) Rabobank 19:41 13 John Gadret (FRA) Ag2r 23:03 14 Vladimir Karpets (RUS) Katusha 25:21 15 Mauricio Cano (COL) Rabobank 32:29 16 Linus Gerdemann (GER) Milram 34:49 17 David Cioni (ITA) Sky 36:44 18 Steven Kruijswijk (NED) Rabobank 37:27 19 Alexander Efimkin (RUS) Ag2r 39:43 20 Hubert Dupont (FRA) Ag2r 45:17