Bradley Wiggins wrapped up his third place at Paris-Nice by finishing the final stage in the yellow jersey group after Thomas Voeckler had secured his second win of the tour.
Wiggins was able to match race leader Tony Martin blow for blow on the hilly 124km loop around Nice and crossed the line in an elite group containing many of the top contenders, one minute and 22 seconds down on the victorious Voeckler (Europcar).
That result ensured Wiggins ended the race 41 seconds back on Martin (HTC-Highroad), and five seconds adrift of the second-placed Andreas Klöden (RadioShack).
Wind and rain had battered the riders again on the eighth day of action, but Voeckler must have been feeling fresh as he instigated the main breakaway move which saw 11 riders go clear on the first of five categorised ascents.
With HTC-Highroad, Euskaltel and Team Sky monitoring the situation closely, the leaders' advantage was never allowed to grow much over three minutes, and only six riders had survived out front by the time they crested the first category climb of La Turbie.
With the pace slowing on the Col d'Eze, Voeckler attacked again with Diego Ulissi (Lampre), and quickly shed his accomplice on the fast descent into the destination town before pressing on for his hard-fought solo success.
Behind, Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel) made a last-ditch bid to deny Wiggins a place on the podium, but it ultimately proved fruitless as the Spaniard finished just 16 seconds ahead of the Londoner in fourth place behind Ulissi and Julien El Fares (Cofidis).
Fine team display
Looking back on the race, sports director Sean Yates was full of praise for the way his team had performed, and singled out Wiggins for special attention.
He said: "The team was fantastic and rode magnificently from the off again today. For Bradley to get third place in a race like this takes a great effort, and the fact that we also ended up second in the team classification shows the strength in depth that we had here.
"The weather obviously didn't help matters today, but of the 21 guys that were left in the yellow jersey group at the end, we had four of them.
"It's been a fantastic eight days - we've come away with a stage win, a podium finish, and that's a big improvement in comparison to where we were at last season. Hopefully now, we can continue go in the right direction.
"As for Bradley, he isn't solely concentrating on the Tour de France this year, and races like this are the ones which he performs best at.
"Too much pressure comes with putting all your eggs in one basket and we're expecting him to spread his efforts in more races this year. He can be proud of his performance here and that will give him confidence for the races to come."