(CNN)Alberto Contador survived untimely crashes, a dislocated shoulder and a daring late challenge from young home hope Fabio Aru to claim victory in the Giro d'Italia Sunday.
Giro d'Italia 2015: Alberto Contador seals seventh Grand Tour victory
The Spaniard finished safely in the peloton on the final stage from Torino to Milan to finish one minute 53 seconds ahead of Aru and secure the Maglia Rosa for the second time in his career.
Belgian Iljo Keisse, a noted rider on indoor velodromes, outsprinted fellow late breakaway rider Luke Durbridge of Australia to take the honors on the 21st and final stage.
But all eyes were on Tinkoff-Saxo team leader Contador as he added to his Giro triumph of 2008.
A further victory in 2011 was struck off as part of his punishment for testing positive for the banned stimulant clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France.
The 32-year-old Contador is now eying a rare Giro-Tour de France double, a feat last achieved by his "childhood inspiration" Marco Pantani back in 1998.
He certainly did the first part the hard way, dislocating his shoulder in a nasty fall at the finish of stage six, while another crash at the back end of the 13th stage saw him concede the lead again to Astana's Aru.
Contador regained it with a fine ride in the individual time trial the next day and increased it to over four minutes on the next big mountain stage.
There was one final twist as Aru took the 19th stage and Saturday on the 20th stage left Contador trailing on the penultimate climb.
Like a great champion, Contador limited his losses on the final climb to Sestriere to ensure he would have be the overall victor come the race finish, content to let the likes of Keisse battle it out for the stage win.
Aru's teammate Mikel Landra took the final place on the podium as part of a strong team performance by the Kazakh squad, itself threatened with removal from the peloton by the world governing body, the UCI, over doping misdemeanors.
Astana's team leader Vincenzo Nibali will be looking to repel the challenge of Contador and Team Sky's Chris Froome as he defends his title in next month's Tour de France, the second of the three big Grand Tours, Spain being the other.
Sunday's triumph was Contador seventh in a Grand Tour, two coming in the Tour de France, two in the Giro and three in his home tour in Spain.