Joaquím Rodríguez (Katusha) finished just two seconds off the podium at Tirreno-Adriatico in fifth overall with 2012’s number one rider openly disappointed.
Denying the Spaniard a place on the podium were Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) just one second ahead, and third place-getter Alberto Contador a further second better than Rodríguez.
"I'm disappointed that I missed the podium by just two seconds," said Rodríguez. "I believe I deserved to be there given the final stages.
"Anyway, I got a good stage win and my performance level was very high in the latter part of the competition. The only pity was the initial phase of the team time trial, where we could have improved by at least 10 seconds," he continued.
Rodríguez took a solo victory on Stage 5, with an eight second advantage over a group led by Bauke Mollema (Blanco) despite what he believed to be a "bad legs" brought on by the inclement weather. The following day with third place on the stage, Rodríguez sat third overall, 37 seconds back on GC leader Vincenzo Nibali (Astana). Again, it was his time trialling ability that would let Rodríguez down, despite some improvements against the clock in the last 12 months, finishing 42 seconds off the pace of winner Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step).
"Now, I'll rest a couple of days, then I will take part in the Volta a Catalunya, where I think I can fight for the overall victory," he said.