Mission accomplished for Arroyo

Stage 12 was yet another day when the Caisse d'Epargne team sent a rider up the road in order to force others to chase, and today it was the turn of David Arroyo, who had started the stage 14'09 back. Once the gap went out to 11'30, the Astana team of Alexandre Vinokourov and Andrey Kashechkin had to ride in order to protect their positions. In this way, race leader Alejandro Valverde and the rest of the squad had an easy ride.

Arroyo ended up gaining 8'46 and moved up 14 places to 13th overall. He said after the stage that he was pleased with how things went. "The stage was a very fast one from the very first kilometres. I had some difficulty to join the breakaway when it went but the most important thing is that I finally succeeded in making it.

"My intention was, of course, not to go for the stage win. My mission was to work for our team, for our leader. We have tried every day to put one of us in the attacks, more particularly if a large group goes, so that behind our tram-mates have nothing to do but control the race.

"Yesterday it was Joaquín's turn, today it was mine. I am satisfied because after a good Tour de France, I am doing pretty well on the Spanish roads too. I think this is principally a consequence of the fighting spirit we have in the team. And the good mood, too!"

He also spoke about the Vuelta to Onda Cero radio, telling them he was happy with how his condition is. "I can't complain; I'm happy. I don't have injuries or diseases and I think I am very fit.

"One has to save energies day by day; it's an everyday job. The Vuelta lasts three weeks; they are three hard weeks as we can see. So, one has to save energy in order to feel well in the mornings. Next week there are three tough days and I must be there [to help Alejandro Valverde]."

Although Arroyo is 13th overall, he appears resigned to slipping back on Saturday. "I still fail a lot in the time trials. But on the team we have got [Alejandro] Valverde and [Vladimir] Karpets - they are the ones who can demonstrate that they go fast in the time trials. They are the strong guys in the team."

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