Arrieta strong enough in the end
As expected, stage 19 of the Vuelta saw a non-threatening breakaway go all the way to the finish in Ciudad Real, with experienced Spaniard José Luis Arrieta (AG2R) triumphing over Dmitriy Fofonov (Credit Agricole), David Loosli (Lampre-Fondital) and Lars Bak (Team CSC) in a four man sprint. Bak looked to be the strongest of the break, that initially numbered eight, but despite two very good attacks in the final eight kilometres, he couldn't get clear. The peloton finished over 11 minutes down with all of the GC favourites choosing to save their legs for tomorrow's time trial.
The break got away after 48 km with Vladimir Gusev (Discovery Channel), José Luis Arrieta (AG2R Prevoyance), Aketza Peña (Euskaltel-Euskadi), and José Vicente Garcia Acosta (Caisse d'Epargne) being joined by Lars Bak (Team CSC), Dmitriy Fofonov (Credit Agricole), David Loosli (Lampre-Fondital) and Pieter Mertens (Davitamon-Lotto). The group was allowed to go clear and managed a maximum lead of 12'04 as Astana was just content to set a steady tempo all day. The attacking started with 11 km to go, and a good move by Bak at 8 km to go looked to have snared him the stage, but he was brought back by Arrieta, Fofonov and Loosli with just over 2 km left. He tried once more under the 1 km to go banner, but that also did not succeed.