Sergio Henao finished a creditable eighth on the queen stage at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco after an all-action day out in the Basque Country.
He said: "I would be more than happy if I had climbed the final climb the way I chased the group after my earlier mechanical.
"It was a brutal stage, especially for me - but maybe getting a whipping was something I needed before the Ardennes!"
The Pole went on to pay tribute to the region's fans, who have brought lots of colour to the race over the last few days.
He added: "Thanks again for great support on the climbs. The fans are brilliant here!"