Cadel Evans (BMC) is not satisfied with fifth place overall in the Giro d'Italia after some problems mid-race took the edge off his form. Yet he showed his pride and fighting character by trying to win the final mountain stage with a gutsy attack on the climb to the finish at Passo Tonale.
In a clever attack, Evans secured his place overall and sealed victory in the points competition. His aggression has also earned him the special Trofeo Bonacossa, named after the founder of the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper that organises the Giro d'Italia.
Evans jumped away five kilometres from the finish and just failed to catch Johann Tschopp (Bbox Bouygues Telecom). In the final kilometre, he could see the Swiss rider ahead of him but crossed the line 15 second behind him.
"I perhaps left it a little bit late. I was there and almost caught him because I could see him with just 300 metres to go," Evans said after pulling on the red points jersey over his rainbow jersey yet again.
"It was a complicated situation because there were Vinokourov and Sastre in the break, then there were people going for the stage victory, and I also had to think about the points jersey because Vinokourov could have got it, and there was the overall classification too."
"I had to wait for the end because the longer you wait, the more you've got left in your legs for one last effort. Of course if you wait too long, you don’t have enough to time to pull it off. I tried to calculate things perfectly and it almost came off."
A final shot at third place
Evans is 3:47 behind Basso but is now only 50 seconds behind Michele Scarponi (Androni Giocattoli) and 51 seconds behind Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Doimo) in third place.
It will be difficult for Evans to overtake them both and secure a place on the final Giro podium, but he promised to fight all the way to the end of the Giro d'Italia, even in the final 15km of racing around Verona.
"I got some time for the podium but probably not enough," he said.
"This Giro didn't go as I wanted, especially after the second week. That's a pity but there were things that were out of my control but there's not much you can do about that."
"Tomorrow, the goal is the same as usual: to go from the start line to the finish line as fast as I can."