Nairo Quintana graciously heaped praise on Tom Dumoulin after the Dutchman pipped him to Giro d'Italia glory on Sunday.
Team Sunweb rider Dumoulin was able to overturn a 53-second deficit in the concluding stage - an individual time-trial - as he claimed his first Grand Tour victory.
Having come so close to glory, 2014 champion Quintana (Movistar) was eager to take the positives from his performance.
"A podium finish is not something to be disappointed about. We're not machines, we can't do everything we want as we want before a race," said the Colombian.
"Sometimes, you don't get the prize you want, even when you work hard to accomplish your goals ... we're happy, satisfied about this result.
"Dumoulin didn't look like the main rival for us before the race, yet he bested everyone with excellent TT and mountain performance. He really deserves this victory."
Looking ahead to the Tour de France, which begins on July 1, Quintana added: "This Giro makes me feel even more confident about my consistency on Grand Tours. If you prepare well, you'll be up there with the best guys in the race - that's a huge boost of morale.
"We're willing to continue working hard after this, and several things are looking good before the Tour - my legs seem to be doing well."
Team boss Eusebio Unzue said Movistar knew Quintana's lead heading into the final stage was unlikely to be enough, given Dumoulin's time-trial expertise.
"To be honest, I'm delighted with the way Nairo was able to contain his rivals to remain in second place," said Unzue.
"We knew before today's TT that a 53-second gap in such a flat TT would not be enough to retain the Maglia Rosa, yet Nairo performed really well. We just didn't stand a big chance against such a strong rival as Dumoulin."