Vuelta Stage 19, 18

Heras is on a steady diet of mountains and has been nicking in almost a minute on every mountain stage in the last half of the Vuelta. Today he put in a big attack when Nozal was isolated, which made for the most exciting attack of this Vuelta. With Heras steadily putting time on Nozal, ONCE sent back Serrano to try and gently bridge Nozal back into the pack. When Heras reached the topp of the final climb, he was able to link up with Landis, whom Bruyneel wisely sent up ahead with a much earlier breakaway. Landis did some heavy pulling down the mountain to the finish, and Heras gained 1'14" on the day. Although Heras is now solidly in second place, that still leaves nearly two minutes (1'55") for Heras to have to overcome in the short mountain time trial coming up.

In the last bit of news, ONCE team director Manolo Saiz was ejected from the remainder of the Vuelta for aggressively blocking a camera motorcycle while shouting a stream of expletives on race TV, and for ignoring the race officials instructions to chill. Saiz felt that the motorcycle was too close to Heras when attacked, giving him the advantage of a draft.
- Stage 19 Summary
- Stage 19 Minute-by-Minute (velonews)
- Stage 19 Route Profile

Stage 18 was a circuit race that wasn't particularly exciting. I really didn't watch much of it, and the race went to Díaz Lobato who brokeaway by himself at the end.
- Stage 18 Summary
- Stage 18 Minute-by-Minute (velonews)
- Stage 18 Route Profile

related articles: Vuelta a Espana 2003