Probably the most significant moment of Jose Luis Arrieta?s winner?s press conference after stage 19 from Jaen to Ciudad Real came when somebody asked him when he had taken the one previous win of his career. ?Erm, 2002? 2003? I can?t remember.? the 35-year-old Ag2R professional said with a grin.

That said it all really: for Arrieta, a lifelong team worker who started racing in 1993 when he rode for Miguel Indurain in the Giro - ?my directors said I couldn?t go home half-way through like they?d promised after Indurain took the maglia rosa, and that was it, I became a domestique.? he recalled - victories are something that usually only figure on his personal radar because they?re something that he helps the team leaders acheive.

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