So that's it - another Giro d'Italia done and dusted for this year. It was fun, it was exciting, it was eventful, with heightened suspense on the last day.
Work commitments had not allowed me to go out and watch any of the earlier stages of the Giro, but I was pleased to have made it to the finale in Brescia.
The sun shone, it was warm, and I managed to catch up with a couple of friends, including Yvette from Pinarello, who was working with a cycle touring company on the day.
Brescia was jam packed with people from all over the world, it seemed. I guess it is testament to the fact that the Giro has come of age. People are talking about it so much more than they did 10 years ago. The field has cyclists from a broader range of countries, giving the race a wider appeal. All the who's who of international cycling target the Giro nowadays, with this year having a particularly stella line-up of big hitters in the shape of Bradley Wiggins, Vicenzo Nibali, Ryder Hesjedal and Cadel Evans. The organisers have even made an effort to put their promotional messages and materials in English - hence the presence of the ubiquitous Anthony McCrossan doing live commentary for the English-speaking audience. The BBC even included the latest from the Giro in their regular sports bulletins - something we would not have seen a couple of years ago.
So, credit to RCS Sport for putting on a great event and for holding things together even when the weather was challenging.
And thanks to Marco from Gazzetta dello Sport for getting me a ringside seat to see the action, and to Mark Cavendish for providing me with something amazing to watch - especially in the final 200m!