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Tour of California 2018 odds

Who wins Tour of California 2018?

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Tour of California 2018

The Tour of California 2018 will be the 13th edition of the race, starting on Sunday 13th May and finishing a week later on Sunday 19th May. It is the race’s second year on the World Tour calendar. The seven-day stage race starts in Long Beach and finishes in Sacramento, and it’s only the third time that the route runs from south to north.

The current title holder is George Bennet (LottoNL-Jumbo), who won the overall classification in 2017. He was joined at the podium by Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Drapac).

The Tour of California covers a wide variety of terrain, from time trials to sprints to climbs, allowing different types of riders a shot at stage victories. It’s seen as the perfect preparation for cyclists looking to get in shape for the Tour de France, despite competing in the calendar against the Giro d’Italia. Due to the Giro’s much longer duration, the Tour of California is often deemed more suitable preparation for those eyeing up Tour de France glory.

The 2018 route

Starting close to Los Angeles in Long Beach, it will likely begin with a first stage sprint for the line. However, stage two quickly shifts the focus to the climbers. Stage two finishes atop the difficult climb on Gibraltar Road after a 12 km climb at 8%, with the final 2 km going up to 10%.

Stage three begins features six tough climbs before a fast finishing circuit. This is followed up by an individual time trial stage in San Jose, which is often a decisive day of action, and a sprinter’s finish on stage six in Elk Grove.

Stage six will be the last chance for the climbers to assert their dominance, before the Tour concludes with a flat finish on stage seven in Sacramento - where Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) and Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin) have previously won.

Here is the route breakdown:
Stage 1 - Long Beach. Flat.
Stage 2 - Ventura to Santa Barbara County. Uphill finish.
Stage 3 - King City to Monterey County.
Stage 4 - San Jose. Time Trial.
Stage 5 - Stockton to Elk Grove.
Stage 6 - Folsom to South Lake Tahoe. Uphill finish.
Stage 7 - Sacramento. Flat.

Tour of California honours

Despite the Tour being a relatively new race (starting in 2006), it has some notable winners in recent years. Peter Sagan won the race in 2015, Bradley Wiggins in 2014 and Tejay van Garderen in 2013. It’s already become the most iconic stage race in the US.

Known as a race favouring top class sprint finishes, it’s no surprise to see the return of sprint royalty. Mark Cavendish, Marcel Kittel and Peter Sagan will all be eyeing stage victorious and the sprinters Green jersey.