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Tour of the Basque Country 2018 odds

Who wins Tour of the Basque Country (Vuelta Ciclista al País Vasco) 2018?

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Tour of the Basque Country 2018

The 2018 edition of the Tour of the Basque Country (Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco) will take place between Monday 2nd April and Saturday 7th April. Held in Spain, the race is part of the UCI World Tour 2018, and is classed as a 2.UWT UCI World Tour stage race.

The race is a road cycling stage race and is now in its fifty-eight year. It is the fourteenth event of the UCI World Tour 2018. Last year’s race was won by Spaniard Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), who got to wear the traditional basque beret on the podium.

The race profile

The Tour of the Basque Country is typically a very mountainous race due to the amount of surrounding mountainous areas. There are few flat stages, just the first stage of the race, therefore, the race favours those who are strong punchers and climbers. The climbs aren’t as high as some of the more famous ones on the tour calendar, such as those found on the Tour De France, but they can be very sharp and steep.

The race will be contested over six stages, of which two stand out in particular.  Stage two to Bermeo and stage six to the Sanctuary of Arrate look to be very challenging as the peloton will have to tackle numerous climbs on their race to the finish. In stage six, the peloton will take on a 3.9 km climb at 10% as the race nears its end, with a rolling last 2 km finish to the line.

The race is, however, broken up by stage four, which will be an individual time trial with the start and finish in Lodosa.

Here is the stage breakdown:

Stage 1 - Zarautz to Zarautz. Flat.

Stage 2 - Zarautz to Bermeo. Hills.

Stage 3 - Bermeo to Cuadrilla de Anana. Hills.

Stage 4 - Lodosa to Lodosa. Time Trial.

Stage 5 - Vitoria to Eibar. Hills.

Stage 6 - Eibar to Arrate. Hills.

The Spanish dominance

Current holder, Alejandro Valverde, continued Spain’s rich cycling history of wins at the Tour of the Basque Country. In 2017, Valverde finished ahead of his fellow Spaniard’s Alberto Contador and Ion Izagirre, who completed a fully Spanish podium.

And the Spanish dominance goes back further. In fact, five of the last six winners have been Spanish. In 2012, Samuel Sanchez took the title. 2014, Alberto Contador. 2015, Joaquim Rodriguez. And 2016, Alberto Contador again. The last non-Spaniard to win was the Colombian cyclist Nairo Quintana (Movistar) in 2013.

The Tour of the Basque Country dates back to 1924, making it one of the oldest stages on the cycling calendar. It’s particularly notable for its sharp and frequent mountain climbs, which favours the punchers and climber, as proved by the strong list of recent winners. All of the recent winners are very good climbers, and you can expect the Spanish contingent to fancy a podium finish once more.