Alberto Contador (Astana) pulled on the pink jersey at the end of the 19th stage to Monte Pora but now has just a four second lead on Riccardo Ricco (Saunier Duval) and 21 seconds on Danilo Di Luca (LPR).

Di Luca attacked over the top of the Passo del Vivione, 50km from the finish and joined up with team mate Paolo Savoldelli. They dived down the descent in the pouring rain with Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) hanging on.

Di Luca accelerated clear alone on the climb to the finish. He failed to catch Vasil Kiryienka (Tinkoff) who won the stage but finished second at 4-36. Alexander Efimkin (Quick Step) was third at 4-43.

Britain?s Steve Cummings (Barloworld) was fourth at 5-25 after being in the stage-long break.

Ricco stayed on Contador?s wheel for most of Di Luca?s attack but then jumped away alone in the final four kilometres of the stage. Despite a rear gear problem that stopped him using the 53 chain ring, the young Italian finished fifth at 5-44.

Contador got some help from the CSF Group team but struggled and finished 12th.

Di Luca gained 1-45 on Contador and Ricco gained 37 seconds.

Contador hung onto the pink jersey but is clearly worried Ricco and Di Luca could attack again on the final mountain stage over the Gavia and the Mortirolo and gain more time on Contador before the final time trial to Milan.

?It was a very long and difficult day,? Contador said before disappearing to his hotel for a warm shower.

?The stage was much longer than it said in the race manual and my team work really hard, I have to give them a ten out of ten.?

?I also have to say well done to Di Luca and Ricco, they made a good attack. The Giro is going to be interesting now??

?However I?m not scared of anybody I came to Giro with a plan. I?m not going to get obsessed about Ricco and Di Luca.?

GIRO D’ITALIA 2008 STAGE 19: RESULTS

1. Vasili Kiryienka (Blr) Tinkoff 238km in 6hours 37min 32secs

2. Danilo Di Luca (Ita) LPR at 4min 36secs

3. Alexander Efimkin (Rus) Quick Step at 4min 43secs

4. Steve Cummings (GB) Barloworld at 5min 25secs

5. Riccardo Ricco (Ita) Saunier Duval at 5min 44secs

6. Emanuele Sella (Ita) CSF Navigare at 6min 21secs

7. Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas

8. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Silence-Lotto

9. Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Lampre

10. Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank

11. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) CSF Navigare

12. Alberto Contador (Spa) Astana all at same time.

British

54. Charly Wegelius (GB) Liquigas at 29min 50secs

109. David Millar (GB) Slipstream at 36min 53secs

128. Geraint Thomas (GB) Barloworld

129. Mark Cavendish (GB) High Road

140. Bradley Wiggins (GB) High Road all at same time.

OVERALL CLASSIFICATION AFTER STAGE 19

1. Alberto Contador (Spa) Astana in 82hours 29min 10secs

2. Riccardo Ricco (Ita) Saunier Duval at 4secs

3. Danilo Di Luca (Ita) LPR at 21secs

4. Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Lampre at 2min

5. Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Liquigas at 2min 5secs

6. Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank at 2min 47secs

7. Emanuele Sella (Ita) CSF Navigare at 4min 25secs

8. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Silence-Lotto at 4min 26secs

9. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) CSF Navigare at 5min 25secs

10. Gilberto Simoni (Ita) Diquigiovanni-Androni at 7min 18secs

British

80. Charly Wegelius (GB) Liquigas at 2hours 7min 6secs

95. David Millar (GB) Slipstream at 2hours 22min 57secs

96. Steve Cummings (GB) Barloworld at 2hours 25min 1sec

120. Geraint Thomas (GB) Barloworld at 2hours 47min 49secs

135. Mark Cavendish (GB) High Road at 3hours 18min 37secs

136. Bradley Wiggins (GB) High Road at 3hours 22min 29secs

imageAlberto Contador chases hard

GIRO D’ITALIA 2008: STAGE REPORTS

Stage 18: Voigt wins Giro d’Italia ‘Worlds’ stage in Varese

Stage 17: Cav gifts Greipel the stage

Stage 16: Pellizotti wins mountain time trial

Stage 15: Sella strikes again in the mountains

Stage 14: Sella wins first Giro mountains stage

Stage 13: Easy victory for super-fast Cavendish

Stage 12: Bennati gets photo finish verdict over Cavendish

Stage 11: Bertolini wins hilly stage

Stage 10: Bruseghin wins Giro d’Italia time trial

Stage nine: Cavendish misses out in sprint

Stage eight: Ricco wins again

Stage seven: Di Luca, Ricco and Contador gain time on rivals

Stage six: Italians clean up

Stage five: Millar denied by snapped chain

Stage four: Cavendish wins

Stage three: Bennati romps home

Stage two: Ricco wins Giro d’Italia second stage

Stage one TTT: Slipstream wins Giro team time trial

GIRO D’ITALIA 2008: NEWS

Ricco and Di Luca talk tough [stage 19]

Contador, Ricco and Simoni to face off in final Giro d’Italia mountains

Six Brits finish mountain time trial [stage 16]

Cavendish disappointed after missing out in Giro sprint

Can Cavendish win the Giro today? [stage 12]

Aggressive Cummings comes away empty handed [stage six]

Millar speaks out after missing out in Giro [stage five]

Reaction to Cavendish’s Giro stage win

Cav hits back at Pozzato’s snipe

Cavendish: This is my biggest win [stage four]

Millar celebrates Slipstream Giro d’Italia success

Bettini looking for final Giro glory

Astana’s troubled build-up to the Giro

Petacchi banned for Salbutamol positive

Yates and Astana make last minute rush to Giro

GIRO D’ITALIA 2008: PHOTOS

Giro d’Italia 2008: Photo gallery, week three – new photos added daily

Giro d’Italia 2008: Photo gallery, week two – new photos added daily

Giro d’Italia 2008: Photo gallery, week one.

GIRO D’ITALIA 2008: FEATURES

Five days to go, what’s in store?

Giro d’Italia 2008: Rest day review (May 27)

Cycling Weekly’s all-time list of British pro winners

Giro d’Italia 2008: Rest day review (May 19)

Rest day 1: How the favourites are doing

Giro Britannia part two: From rule Britannia to cruel Britannia

Tuesday Comment (May 13): Why Cavendish is a bona fide world-class star

Giro Britannia: how the Brits are doing in Italy

Giro d’Italia 2008 preview

Giro d’Italia 2008: who will win?

Giro d’Italia 2008: The British are coming

Giro d’Italia on Eurosport: TV schedule