Alex Rasmussen saw his dream of winning the closing time trial of the Giro d'Italia disappear near the end with a flat tire. The HTC-Highroad rider finished second, only seven seconds behind stage winner David Millar of Garmin-Cervelo.
"I had a puncture with one kilometre to go, so it was damn annoying, and it may be that it cost me the victory,” he told the Ritzau news agency.
"It's f**king annoying.But I can't do much about it. I rode a perfect trial.I rode really fast, and if the puncture had not occurred, I would have finished even stronger.”
The Dane, who was making his Grand Tour debut, said he figured he lost about 20 seconds because of the mechanical. He did not change bikes, but continued to ride with the flat tire.
“The tire was completely flat with one kilometre to go, and so I had to edge the bike around the final turn. I caught Michael Mørkøv with three kilometers left, and then he brought me to finish, so it's probably 20 seconds,” Rasmussen said.
Mørkøv, of Team Saxo Bank-SunGard, rode with Rasmussen on the Danish team earlier and is his partner on the track.