Lance Armstrong and Levi Leipheimer opted to take it easy on the last stage, a final tricky time trial stage, 23 turns with cobblestones past the historic monuments of ancient Rome. Yarosloav Popovych and Jani Brajkovic decided to give it full gas, with Popo claiming 4th place at 18:52 and Jani in 11th at 19:08.
"I am not disappointed," said Levi Leipheimer in Rome. "Over the three weeks, there were five guys a bit stronger than me. Basically I decided to do the Giro more out of preparation for the Tour de France. I raced here against riders that were really targeting this race. What makes me happy is that I finished the Giro a lot stronger than last year and that we rode as a real team. Lance Armstrong proved to be a good domestique, but also Steve Morabito, Andrey Zeits, Jani Brajkovic, Chris Horner, Dani Navarro , Yaroslav Popovych and Chehu Rubiera gave me a ton of support. Of course I would have preferred to win a stage. In the historic time trial of Cinque Terre I was very close to it, but already there Denis Menchov was better. Today, I preferred not to take any risk."
"Up to the Giro, Levi was undefeated this year," said Team Manager Johan Bruyneel. "He has to be pleased with this race and the season he has had so far. A three week Tour is very exhausting, especially on the mind."
"The style of racing in Italy is different, but I liked it," added Armstrong. "Despite some dangerous stages, it was a great race. The Giro del Centenario brought us to the most beautiful places of the country. The people here are enthusiastic. In the Giro I spent more time with the fans than with the media. It was cool and fun hanging around with the tifosi."
The consistent efforts of Team Astana riders sealed the win in the Teams Classification with a wide margin of more than 24-minutes to Columbia.
On Astana’s financial troubles, unconfirmed information is that the sponsors were now starting to honor their financial agreements and that team staff were starting to get paid again although it has been settled 100%.
Team Astana on General Classification
6 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana 5.28
12 Lance Armstrong (USA) 15.59
15 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) 16.15
18 Jani Brajkovic (Slo) 28.07
31 Daniel Navarro (Spa) 1.02.21
35 Andrey Zeits (Kaz) 1.14.56
49 Jos? Luis Rubiera (Spa) 1.38.56
88 Steve Morabito (Swi) 2.48.54
Website: Astana Cycling Team