Vuelta 19: Cobo takes wet victory

Valverde places second, holds race lead

Juan Jose Cobo (Fuji-Servetto) won the 174km stage 19 of the 2009 Vuelta a España between Ávila and La Granja, Real Fábrica de Cristales Friday, in front of race leader Alejandro Valverde.

Caisse d'Epargne rider Valverde did well to resist a series of attacks from his closest rivals, notably compatriot Samuel Sanchez (Euskatel), during the last stage in the mountains.

Dutchman Robert Gesink of Rabobank was the biggest loser on the day.

Starting the day in second place overall, 32 seconds behind Valverde, Gesink was hindered by the after-effects of a fall on Wednesday and finished over four minutes off Cobo's pace.

Valverde now has a comfortable one minute lead over Sanchez, the new second-placed rider, going into Saturday's 27.8km individual time-trial in Toledo.

The race finishes in Madrid on Sunday.

For a complete report with results and photos, visit

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