Contador ends an era of Italian dominance
Reigning Tour de France champion Alberto Contador has become the first non-Italian to win the Giro d'Italia since 1996.
The Spaniard beat Italy's Riccardo Ricco by one minute 57 seconds, despite failing to win a stage of the three-week long race.
Marzio Bruseghin finished third, 2:54 behind Contador.
The final stage, a 28.5km time trial from Cesano Maderno to Milan, was won by Marco Pinotti in 32 minutes 45secs.
"This was a tough Giro and there were many riders who could have won, making it worth as much as the Tour or even more," said Contador, who joins Miguel Indurain as the only two Spanish winners of the Giro.
He added: "I never dreamed that I could be the successor to Miguel Indurain in the Giro d'Italia but it's nice. I didn't see when he won the Giro because I was playing marbles and football like every young person."
Contador's win was all the more impressive as his Astana team were only invited to take part in the Giro at a week's notice.
Great Britain's Mark Cavendish finished fourth in the points competition after winning two stages and coming second in two more.
Giro d'Italia stage 21 result:
1 M Pinotti (It) 32mins 45secs
2 T Martin (Ger) @ 7 secs
3 M Ignatiev (Rus) @ 10"
4 B Wiggins (GB) @ 13"
5 C Vande Velde (US) @ 22
Giro d'Italia overall final result:
1 A Contador (Sp) 89hr 56min 49
2 R Ricco (It) @ 1min 57secs
3 M Bruseghin (It) @ 2:54
4 F Pellizotti (It) @2:56
5 D Menchov (Rus) @ 3:37
6 E Sella (It) @ 4:31
7 J Van den Broeck (Bel) @ 6:30
8 D di Luca (It) @ 7:15
9 D Pozzovivo (It) @ 7:53
10 G Simoni (It) @ 11:03