Volta a Catalunya 2018 odds
Who wins Volta a Catalunya 2018?
Volta a Catalunya 2018
The Volta a Catalunya is a men’s road cycling stage race in Spain. In it’s 98th year, the 2018 race will take place between the 19th and 25th of March, and is the ninth race of the 2018 UCI World Tour.
The 2018 version of the Volta a Catalunya will differ from the 2017 version. Last year, the seven-stage race included a team time trial, as well a particularly hard summit finish on stage 5. As always, the Volta takes in a mix of summit finishes, with a few stages that will appeal for the sprinters.
The seven-stage 2018 route
This year, the peloton will be tasked with tackling three mid-race mountain stages, set in the picturesque Pyrenees. There will be no team time trial, and the race will end with a hilly final circuit in Barcelona. The Volta winner will likely be decided in the middle stages. Stage four, in particular, which is the second day of cycling in the Pyrenees, features a difficult climb with a finish at La Molina ski resort.
For the seventh year in a row, the Volta will start with a circuit stage around the Mediterranean resort of Calella, which will likely finish in a bunch sprint. The route then takes the riders into a hilly transition as they race across central Catalunya to Valls. Stage third then kicks the race into life as the peloton begin the first of the mountain stages. Stage three is one of the toughest stages of the 2018 route, starting close to Barcelona in Saint Cugat. The route takes the cyclists up a difficult 12 km climb close to the French border.
Stage four, featuring the climb to La Molina, was won in 2017 by Alejandro Valverde on his way to the overall title. Stages five to seven typically have little effect on the battle for the overall victory. Stage seven’s circuit in Montjuic park in Barcelona is more suited to a breakaway group or a big bunch sprint, with the race winner likely long-decided by then.
Here is a breakdown of the 2018 route:
● Monday, 19th March: Stage 1: Calella - Calella. 152 km, flat.
● Tuesday, 20th March: Stage 2: Mataró - Valls. 175 km, hills.
● Wednesday, 21st March: Stage 3: Saint Cugat - Vallter 2000. 199 km, mountains.
● Thursday, 22nd March: Stage 4: Llanars - La Molina. 170 km, mountains.
● Friday, 23rd March: Stage 5: Llivia - Vielha. 213 km, mountains.
● Saturday, 24th March: Stage 6: Vielha - Torrefarrera. 194 km, mountains with a flat finish.
● Sunday, 25th March: Stage 7: Barcelona (Montjuic) - Barcelona (Montjuic). 154 km, hills.
The 2018 winner
In 2017, Alejandro Valverde put in an excellent performance to take the overall General Classification win. He won three stages en route to the title. He was joined on the podium by his Spanish compatriots Alberto Contador and Marc Soler.
In 2018, once more the strong climbers in the peloton will be favourites for the win, and Valverde is back to defend his title. Alongside him are his Movistar teammates Nairo Quintana and Marc Soler, giving Movistar an exceptional team for the mountain stages. The rest of the field is expected to be very strong. Fabio Aru (UAE-Team Emirates), Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), Tejay van Garderen (BMC), Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Wilco Kelderman (Sunweb) are amongst the contenders joining the lineup.