Primoz Roglic powered to victory in the Tour of the Basque Country on Saturday, coasting across the line behind stage winner David Gaudu, gesturing to the sparse crowd to applaud.
Gaudu won the mountainous 111.9 km stage to Arrate in 3hrs 5mins and 42 seconds. Roglic finished in the same time.
Alejandro Valverde, a 40-year-old Spaniard with Movistar, led home a quartet of chasers, which included Tadej Pogacar, 35 seconds later.
Roglic won the race by 52 seconds from Jumbo-Visma team-mate Jonas Vingegaard. Pogacar was third overall, a further 15 seconds back.
Roglic exploited tactical confusion in Pogacar's UAE team.
Pogacar's young American team-mate Brandon McNulty started the final day in the overall lead.
Roglic was second with the Dane Vingegaard third and Pogacar fifth.
When the McNulty struggled on the second of the day's four first-category climbs, Pogacar dropped back to help.
Sensing weakness, the Astana team launched an attack on the descent. Roglic and other leading riders went with it.
Pogacar dropped McNulty and gave chase, but could not close the gap.
Roglic powered on, gradually shedding all the other members of the group except Briton Hugh Carthy of Education First and Gaudu of Groupama.
Behind him Pogacar, who beat his Slovenian compatriot in the time-trial on the penultimate day of the 2020 Tour de France, became visibly irked.
He shook his head unhappily after a conversation with the team car.
Then, as his group grew, gestured to rival riders to help him as they sat on his wheel knowing he had to chase.
Gaudu attacked on the final climb and dropped Carthy but not Roglic who was happy to cruise to line behind the Frenchman, flapping one hand to draw cheers and urge on the winner.
1. David Gaudu (FRA/FDJ) 3hrs 5min 42sec, 2. Primoz Roglic (SLO/JUM) same time, 3. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) at 35sec, 4. Adam Yates (GBR/INE) s.t., 5. Tadej Pogacar (SLO/UAE) s.t., 6. Jonas Vingegaard (DEN/JUM) s.t., 7. Peio Bilbao (ESP/BAH) 1min 3sec, 8. Esteban Chaves (COL/BIK) 1:05, 9. Mikel Landa (ESP/BAH) s.t., 10. Mauri Vansevenant (BEL/DEC) 1:55