Vuelta a España: Stage 18 preview

Stag18: Aguilar de Campoo to Valladolid, 204.5km

The sprinters have paid their dues over the past few stages, and now is their time to go for glory. This flat stage uses a lot of the same roads as those in the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon and as it’s mainly downhill, this stage should just zip by. Whether it ends as a bunch sprint or not is totally up to the wind. If she’s a blowin’ on the high plains, then we could see some splits. If it does end in a bunch sprint, I wouldn’t bet against Argonaut John Degenkolb. He’ll want to continue where he left off early last week and notch up win number five.

The finish could be pretty frenetic. It’s been a while since the sprinters have had the chance to wind up for a bunch gallop, the final 5km is pretty much all downhill, and other than a couple of roundabouts and a left-hand turn with about 600 metres to go this looks to be a reasonably straightforward run-in. Watch them fly!

A poignant note: the last time the race ended in Valladolid was in 2008 and the winner was Wouter Weylandt. WW108. Never forgotten.

Link: Vuelta a Espana official website

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