Australian Cadel Evans won the Tirreno-Adriatico race on Tuesday when he held off his rivals in the final time trial dominated by Swiss Fabian Cancellara.
BMC rider Evans, the 2009 road world champion, finished 31 seconds off the pace, but it was enough to secure overall victory.
“I trained really hard this winter,” said Evans, who is already focused on the Tour de France later this year. “That’s why I did not race much early this season. I’m working towards this goal in July.”
Dutchman Robert Gesink was second overall, 11 seconds adrift, with Italian Michele Scarponi taking third place four seconds further back.
Evans, who took the overall lead on Sunday, started cautiously and lost nine seconds to Gesink in the first part of the course before recovering and claiming some time back.
Giro champion Ivan Basso of Italy, who started the day in third place, never found a rhythm and dropped to fourth overall.
Cancellara, a three-time time trial world champion, was once again in a class of his own, beating Dutchman Lars Boom by nine seconds over 9.3km.
“My win might be predictable for some people, but it was never certain until the end,” Leopard-Trek’s Cancellara said. “A time-trial isn’t finished until the last rider storms across the line. At the world championships, when I am the last rider to go, I have a reference time.”
“Today, I did not have that, so it became a matter of experience and of knowing what the ideal time might be. In a time trial over only 10k[m], you don’t spare yourself,” he added.