Adam Hansen (Lotto-Belisol) took a surprise solo win on stage 19 of the 2014 Vuelta a Espana after launching a late attack.
John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) brought the peloton home for second place with Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida) in third.
Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) finished in the bunch to retain his overall lead ahead of Chris Froome (Sky) in the race going into the final weekend.
The day’s break consisted of Wouter Poels (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Laurent Mangel (FDJ) and Pim Ligthart (Lotto-Belisol). As in previous stages, the escape’s time advantage was kept closely monitored by the bunch and after wavering around the three-minute mark, the trio were reeled in with around 20 kilometres to go.
Sky hit the front of the peloton up the final climb of Alto Monte Faro to set a steady pace and prevent attacks Froome’s rivals, Contador, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha).
Despite Sky’s pace, Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) attacked on the ascent and kept his advantage on the descent, but was caught on a flat section around 6km before the finish.
Hansen then launched an attack with 5km to go and opened up a significant gap to stay away and take a solo victory in what is his 10th consecutive Grand Tour outing.
Sky’s Dario Cataldo crashed on the descent of Monte Faro and looked to be unconscious at the roadside. However, he did remount his bike and finish the stage though his condition remains in doubt.
Vuelta a Espana 2014, stage 19: Salvaterra do Miño to Cangas do Morrazo, 180.5km
1. Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto-Belisol
2. John Degenkolb (Ger) Giant-Shimano at 5 secs
3. Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Lampre-Merida
4. Yannick Martinez (Fra) Europcar
5. Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
6. Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) FDJ
7. Paul Martens (Ger) Belkin
8. Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek Factory Racing
9. Romain Hardy (Fra) Cofidis
10. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale all same time
Overall classification after stage 19
1. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo in 76-00-40
2. Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky at 1-19
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 1-32
4. Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha at 2-29
5. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana at 3-15
6. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Sharp at 6-52
7. Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC at 6-59
8. Warren Barguil (Fra) Giant-Shimano at 9-12
9. Daniel Navarro (Spa) Cofidis at 9-44
10. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale at 9-45
Chris Froome is seeking every opportunity to gain time of Alberto Contador and Alejandro Valverde in the remaining stages of
Images from stage 18 of the 2014 Vuelta a Espana, won by Fabio Aru. Photos by Graham Watson