A babygirl watches the pack riding at the start of the 19th stage of the 69th edition of “La Vuelta”. Photograph: Jaime Reina /AFP/Getty Images

Battle for sixth will depend on climbs, time trials and, perhaps, antibiotics

Canadian rider Ryder Hesjedal of Garmin Sharp team celebrates winning the 14th stage of the Vuelta over 200.8km from Santander to La Camperona, northern Spain, but had to endure accusations of riding a motorised bicycle. Photograph: Javier Lizon/EPA

Heat of the moment fight an unwelcome distraction from an amazing stage race

A steep climb on Sunday’s 15th stage of the Vuelta a España between Oviedo and Lagos de Covadonga. Photograph: EPA/Javier Lizon.

Had I not crashed, I dare say I might have been able to try for the win

 The pack in action during the 13th stage of the Vuelta a Espana  from Belorado to  Cabarceno yesterday. Photograph: Javier Lizon/EPA

Elephants and Zebra aplenty but stage win remains an endangered species

Alberto Contador of the Tinkoff-Saxo team in action during yesterday’s 10th stage of the Vuelta a España, where he finished fourth and took over the red jersey.

The important thing is that I got around safe, and to move up on the general classification is a bonus

The pack in action during the ninth stage of the VVuelta Ciclista cycling race, of 185km between Carboneras de Guadazaon and Aramon Valdelinares. Photograph: Javier Lizon/EPA

Vuelta Diary: It was really nice to finally be able to race properly on a climb

The pack in action during the seventh stage of the  Vuelta a Espana cycling tour, over 169km from Alhendin to Alcaudete, southern Spain.  Photograph: Javier Lizon

‘Unfortunately the 2012 world road race champion Philippe Gilbert just pipped me at the line, getting past for fifth‘

Dan Martin (blue jersey) finishes fifth behind stage winner John Degenkolb of Germany in Cordoba yesterday. photograph: Jose Jordan/Getty

Fifth on stage four a good return after a flat sprint

The peleton in action in action during the second stage of the Vuelta a España over 174.4km from Algeciras to San Fernando, southern Spain. Photograph: Carrasco Ragel/EPA

Vuelta Diary: ‘We got around safely and have plenty of time to make up lost ground’

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