David Arroyo of Caisse d’Epargne won stage 19 of la Vuelta a Espana by outsprinting his breakaway companion Vasili Kiryienka (Tinkoff Credit Systems). The pair was the sole survivors of a breakaway that had formed on the first climb of the day and carried on as the rest was caught. A late attack from Nick Nuyens (Cofidis) couldn’t catch the duo, but he hung on to take third place ahead of a flying Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d’Epargne).
At the start of the first category 1 climb of the day to Puerto de Navacerrada a group of 14 riders broke clear, which included 4 Caisse d’Epargne riders ? including Arroyo and overall seventh placed Joaquim Rodriguez ? as well as Kiryienka. Concerned about the strength of Caisse d’Epargne ? and particularly the presence of
Rodriguez ? in the front group, race leader Alberto Contador (Astana) himself put in a small attack on the Navacerrada and then put his team to work on the front to limit its advantage. Consequently, the breakaway’s advantage was rarely more than a minute over the main field.
On the second climb to Puerto de Navaria this pressure from Astana caught the breakaways and thinned the main pack to just a small group of favourites. An attack from Tour winner Carlos Sastre (CSC-Saxo Bank) put further riders in trouble, but he was soon caught. Before the summit, Julien Loubet (AG2R-La Mondiale), Arroyo and Kiryienka ? who had all been in the original break ? broke clear, between them
they built up a lead on the descent over the small group of favourites led by Caisse d’Epargne.
With his team leading the chase behind, Arroyo was sitting on his two breakaway companions and not contributing at all to the pace. At 10km to go, just after crossing the finishing line to start the finishing circuit, Kiryienka attacked dropping Loubet, but he was unable to shake Arroyo who ? under team orders ? was still unable to come through. On the uphill finish Kiryienka continued to do all the pace setting with Arroyo behind and the peloton ? led by Arroyo’s team ? bearing down on them. In the finish though, it was an easy victory for the far fresher Spaniard over the exhausted Belarusian.
STAGE 19 RESULTS
1. David Arroyo (ESP/GCE) 3hr 27min 03sec
2. Vasili Kiryenka (BLR/TCS) 5sec behind
3. Nick Nuyens (BEL/COF) 11
4. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/GCE) 11
5. Greg van Avermaet (BEL/SIL) 11
6. Marzio Bruseghin (ITA/LAM) 11
7. Robert Gesink (NED/RAB) 11
8. Ruben Perez (ESP/EUS) 11
9. Alberto Contador (ESP/AST) 11
10. David Moncoutie (FRA/COF) 11
1. Alberto Contador (ESP/AST) 77hr 21min 52sec
2. Levi Leipheimer (USA/AST) at 1min 17sec
3. Carlos Sastre (ESP/CSC) 3:41
4. Ezequiel Mosquera Miguez (ESP/KGZ) 4:35
5. Robert Gesink (NED/RAB) 5:49
6. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/GCE) 6:00
7. Joaquin Rodriguez (ESP/GCE) 6:05
8. Egoi Martinez (ESP/EUS) 8:56
9. David Moncoutie (FRA/COF) 9:32
10. Oliver Zaugg (SUI/GST) 10:01