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Vuelta a España 2018

The 73rd edition of the Vuelta a España will begin on the 25th August 2018, starting in Malaga, Spain. As the last of the Grand Tour’s this year (following the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France), it is the final chance for glory for the big names on the UCI World Tour. Known as the most mountainous Grand Tour on the calendar, the route beckons to be a challenging one, favouring the strong climbers and aggressive attackers in the peloton.

2018 Stages:

Stage 1: Malaga - Malaga. ITT, 8 km.

Stage 2: Marbella - Caminito del Rey. Uphill finish, 163.9 km.

Stage 3: Mijas - Alhaurin de la Torre. Hills, flat finish, 182.5 km.

Stage 4: Velez-Malaga - Sierra de la Alfaguara. Mountain finish, 162 km.

Stage 5: Granada - Roquetas de Mar. Hills, flat finish, 188 km.

Stage 6: Huercal-Overa - Mar Menor (San Javier). Flat, 153 km.

Stage 7: Puerto Lumbreras - Pozo Alcon. Hills, 182 km.

Stage 8: Linares - Almaden. Flat, 195.5 km.

Stage 9: Talavera Reina - La Covatilla. Mountain finish, 195 km.

Rest day.

Stage 10: Salamanca - Bermillo de Sayago. Flat, 172.5 km.

Stage 11: Mombuey - Luinta (Ribeira Sacra). Hills, 208.8 km.

Stage 12: Mondonedo - Faro de Estaca de Bares. Flat, 177.5 km.

Stage 13: Candas - La Camperona. Mountain finish, 175.5 km.

Stage 14: Cistierna - Lagos de Covadonga. Mountain finish, 167 km.

Stage 15: Cangas Onis - Les Praeres. Mountain finish, 185.5 km.

Rest day.

Stage 16: Santillana del Mar - Torrelavega. ITT, 32.7 km.

Stage 17: Getxo - Monte Oiz. Mountain finish, 116.4 km.

Stage 18: Ejea de los Caballeros - Lleida. Flat, 180.5 km.

Stage 19: Lleida - Col de la Rabassa/Naturlandia. Mountain finish, 157 km.

Stage 20: Escaldes-Engordany - Collada de La Gallina. Mountains, 105.8 km.

Stage 21: Alcorcon - Madrid. Flat, 112.3 km.


The race starts with an individual time trial of 8 km in Malaga - the third time the Andalucian town has been the host city for the start. The race quickly springs into life, however, with the first uphill finish coming on stage 2. Uphill finishes are a common theme throughout, with nice mountain top finishes, before finishing in Madrid.

Stage 3 takes to the hills by Torremolinos, before stage 4 takes the peloton away from Malaga to Granada. The highlight of the stage being the closing climb, averaging 5.6% with the steepest part being 20% gradient.

Moving on to stage 9, the race takes on a summit finish in La Covatilla. The next summit finish is on stage 13, at the Asturian mountain La Camperona. Stage 14 is a tricky one, finishing at Les Praeres de Nava. The hardest climb is in the Sierra de Peñamayor - 5 km of hell with an average gradient of 13.5%, and the steepest section being 23%. Stage 15 is also tough with the finish at the picturesque Lagos de Cavadonga. The climb to the lakes is 12.2 km at 7.2% average gradient and 17.5% the hardest section.

Stage 19 sees the start of the last two mountain stages. The route takes the riders to the Col de la Rabassa, a 14 km climb at 6.6% gradient. The 20th stage takes in five intermediate climbs before the Coll de la Gallina - a monster of a climb with 18% gradient switchbacks at the summit. Stage 20 is the last change for the general classification contenders to attack. As usual, the Vuelta a Espana ends in the Spanish capital, Madrid.

All in all, there are nine tough summit finishes, which are balanced out by the opening individual time trial and a longer 32.7 km time trial in the third week, similar to the one Chris Froome (Team Sky) won in 2017.


As with every Grand Tour, the field is expected to be strong as the World Tour teams aim for a big win. The front runners are the likely candidates, such as returning champion Chris Froome (who won superbly last year to achieve the Vuelta-Tour de France double), Fabio Aru (UAE-Team Emirates), 2017 runner-up Vincenzo Nibali (Team Bahrain Merida), Alejandro Valverde (Team Movistar), Mikel Landa (Team Movistar) and Johan Esteban Chaves (Team Mitchelton-Scott).

Also in the hunt for success will be Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb), Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team), Simon Yates (Team Mitchelton-Scott) and Ion Izagirre (Team Bahrain Merida).

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