La Vuelta 2018: Route, stage profiles, TV details, favourites, Chris Froome, odds and more
This year’s Vuelta looks set to be the most open Grand Tour in years – so here’s everything you need to know.
WHEN IS IT?
The 2018 edition of La Vuelta runs from August 25 to September 16.
IS IT ON TV?
Look no further than us…
- [BLAZIN' SADDLES: La Vuelta 2018 – 7 key stages]
- [RELATED: Simon Yates will bounce back at Vuelta with brother support]
- [RELATED: Thomas and Froome to skip Vuelta for Tour of Britain]
TELL ME ABOUT THE ROUTE...
The General Classification should be mildly shaken up on the first day with a brief 8km individual time trial before a first week set to appease the sprinting contingent.
The first mountain test arrives on Stage 9, but it is immediately followed by a rest day meaning we will likely have to wait for Stages 13, 14 and 15 – three brutal days of climbing – to see the GC contenders stamp their authority on the race.
A 32km individual time trial on Stage 16 should see TT specialists claw back time, before the final test for the red jersey hopefuls: a 97.3km sapper in the mountains on Stage 20.
Again, bonus seconds are awarded to the first three riders in each stage (10, 6 and 4), while there are also time rewards for the top three in intermediate sprints (3, 2 and 1).
FULL LA VUELTA ROUTE 2018
- Stage 1 - Malaga to Malaga, individual time trial, 8km
- Stage 2 - Marbella to Caminito del Rey, 163.5km
- Stage 3 - Mijas to Alhaurin de la Torre, 178.2km
- Stage 4 - Velez-Malaga to Alfacar, 161.4km
- Stage 5 - Granada to Roquetas de Mar, 188.7km
- Stage 6 - Huercal-Overa to San Javier, 155.7km
- Stage 7 - Puerto-Lumbreras to Pozo Alcon, 185.7km
- Stage 8 - Linares / Almaden, 195.1 km
- Stage 9 - Talavera de la Reina to La Covatilla, 200.8 km
- Rest day in Salamanca
- Stage 10 - Salamanca to Fermoselle, 177km
- Stage 11 - Mombuey to Luintra, 207.8km
- Stage 12 - Mondonedo to Manon, 181.1 km
- Stage 13 - Candas to La Camperona, 174.8km
- Stage 14 - Cistierna to Les Praeres, 171 km
- Stage 15 - Ribera de Arriba to Lagos de Covadonga, 178.2km
- Rest day in Santander
- Stage 16 - Santillana del Mar to Torrelavega, individual time trial, 32km
- Stage 17 - Getxo to Balcón de Bizkaia, 157km
- Stage 18 - Ejea de los Caballeros to Lleida, 186.1 km
- Stage 19 - Lleida to Andorra, 154.4km
- Stage 20 - Escaldes-Engordany to Coll de la Gallina, 97.3km
- Stage 21 - Alcorcon to Madrid, 100.9km
HANG ON… AREN’T SOME BIG NAMES MISSING?
True. Defending champion Chris Froome and Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas (both Team Sky) will miss the race to compete in the Tour of Britain, while Tom Dumoulin is absent from Team Sunweb’s eight-strong team.
With the UCI Road World Championships starting on September 22 in Innsbruck, Austria – just six days after the Vuelta finishes – there isn’t much hope for anyone seeking the double, meaning a handful of riders are expected to use Spain as a final training block before dropping out.
But isn’t that exactly what cycling needs right now – a break from the familiar faces and Team Sky dominance? This year’s Vuelta is the most open Grand Tour in years, with a host of riders capable of launching a GC bid. Richie Porte (BMC) and Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) are the favourites with the bookmakers, but they can expect stiff competition from the likes of Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) and Fabio Aru (UAE).
- Richie Porte 11/4
- Simon Yates 11/4
- Nairo Quintana 9/2
- Miguel Angel Lopez 13/2
- Alejandro Valverde 11/1
- Rigoberto Uran 16/1
- Fabio Aru 16/1
- Thibaut Pinot 22/1
- Wilco Kelderman 33/1
- David de la Cruz 33/1
- Vincenzo Nibali 33/1
- George Bennett 33/1
- BAR 40/1