Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali clinched a second Giro d’Italia victory and a fourth Grand Tour title on Sunday.
The Astana rider finished 52 seconds ahead of Colombia’s Esteban Chaves (Orica) in the overall standings with Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) third.
Fellow Italian Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek) was stripped of victory in the final stage after deviating from his sprint line in a bunch finish.
Germany’s Nikias Arndt (Giant) was handed the victory.
Nibali was battered and bruised after a terrible performance in last Sunday’s uphill time trial and Tuesday’s mountain stage to Andalo, but when all seemed lost he hit back in style.
He won solo in Risoul on Friday when overall leader Steven Kruijswijk crashed, and he put the hammer down on Saturday by dropping his closest rivals Valverde and Chaves, who had been wearing the leader’s pink jersey.
Nibali is one of only six men to win all three Grand Tours – the 2013 Giro, 2010 Vuelta and 2014 Tour de France crowns.
His team considered pulling him from the race earlier this week after his mediocre form saw him slip out of contention.
Stage 21 result:
1. Nikias Arndt (Ger/Giant) 3hrs 48mins 18secs
2. Matteo Trentin (Ita/Etixx-Quick-Step) Same time
3. Sacha Modolo (Ita/Lampre) Same time
4. Alexander Porsev (Rus/Katusha) Same time
5 Sean De Bie (Ger/Lotto) Same time
Final general classification:
1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita/Astana) 86hrs 32mins 49secs
2. Esteban Chaves (Col/Orica) +52secs
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa /Movistar) +1min 17secs
4. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned/LottoNL) +1min 50secs
5. Rafal Majka (Pol/Tinkoff) +4mins 37secs