Vuelta a España 2018 – Stage 18 Preview

By David Hunter

Ejea De Los Caballeros – Lleida 186.1km

The GC men can rest and the sprinters step forward.

Nothing much to see here. A small break will escape early in the stage and the sprinters will line it up in the closing stages. It will be a rather boring day in the saddle.

Breakaway Hopes

Not a chance, as QuickStep and Bora will be keen on a sprint.

Weather

Sunny and not much wind.

Finale

With corners at 2km and 1km to go, it will help the sprint trains to arrange in colour order. The finish is relatively easy, but you need to ensure you hit the final kilometre near the front of the bunch.

Contenders

Elia Viviani – the Italian starts the stage as the overwhelming favourite. He has two wins to his name, but will be keen to get his third. QuickStep are the dominant sprint train and their lead out was perfect on stage 10. Given the nature of the finish, it’s difficult to see another team control the final 2km.

Peter Sagan – given his poor lead out, Sagan needs to start behind Viviani and hope to pass him. This tactic hasn’t worked so far in the race, but Sagan will hope that he is closer to 100%. I’m not so sure he is.

Danny van Poppel – has looked strong throughout the race and he’ll hoped to have survived the mountains better than his rivals. Jumbo have a good sprint train, but it is short. With men needed to look after Kruijswijk, they will look to get to the front in the final kilometre. It will take a perfect sprint for van Poppel to win.

Giacomo Nizzolo – we’ve only had two big sprints in the race and Nizzolo has finished 2nd and 3rd. His consistency has been impressive and he will dearly hope that he can take his first grand tour win. After a difficult season, it would be nice to see the Italian celebrating.

Prediction Time

We have the fastest sprinter, riding with the best sprint train. Another easy win for Elia Viviani.

*Overall Preview

David Hunter

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1 comment for “Vuelta a España 2018 – Stage 18 Preview

  1. Midiotidiot
    12 September, 2018 at 6:32 pm

    Mole, I’m pretty sure you brought this odds in with this note! Massive move.

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