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Vuelta 2018 Stage 2:Marbella – Caminito del Rey 163.5 km

Vuelta 2018 Stage 2:Marbella – Caminito del Rey 163.5 km

The 2nd stage of the 2018 Tour of Spain starts in Marbella. No towering hotels for the masses, but large villas and expensive apartments and endless golf courses. There will be no luxury for the riders, though, the peloton faces a hilly and hot day in the saddle. Once the flag is dropped they tackle the Puerto de Ojén – 7.6 kilometres at 4.5% – before the Vuelta penetrates further into the hills north of the departure place. In the second half, the route is similar to 2015’s Caminito del Rey stage. At kilometre 60 the riders enter a 72 kilometres circuit and they cross the line at kilometre 91.5.

The Puerto de Ardales is crested 43.8 kilometres before the finish. The climb is 3.1 kilometres at 4.9% and peaks just after the village with the same name. A long descent runs to familiar roads, as the riders re-enter the circuit with around 30 kilometres left. Via Álora they continue to El Chorro, and shortly the closing climb begins. The 5.1 kilometres ascent slopes at 3.3%, while the last kilometre is toughest: 5.2%.

The final destination is the Caminito del Rey – that is, the race doesn’t end at this attraction in the Gaitanes Gorge, yet at the Visitor Reception Center.

Just looking at the arrival place one might think that the Caminito del Rey closing climb returns after its inaugural appearance in 2015, when Esteban Chaves outclimbed Tom Dumoulin on the 3.4 kilometres slopes at 7%. But no. This time the race ends atop Alto de Guadalhorce, which is an easier finale – 5.1 kilometres at 3.3%.

Starts at 13.35 CET


Final uphill 5 km

 
Re:

Red Rick said:
Not even that punchy. Think it's still Viviani vs Sagan, though I don't know how steep that stretch from say 2.6 to 1.8km is?
According to video of last 5 km at https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=K0ChFVVjVc8
the last km is the toughest with a max bit over 9 % and average 6 %. There's a short descent just before the last km which might be a launching spot for an attack. Before then a 5% average slope for a couple of km's.

Will be tough for sprinters.
 
This is a stage that Valverde could win. An uphill finish like that he could outsprint Sagan and Viviani if he's in position. I'd say the Valverde, Viviani, Sagan (depending on what kind of shape he's in), Kwiat, and D. Martin are the most likely picks for the top 5 in some order or another.
 
Re:

Koronin said:
This is a stage that Valverde could win. An uphill finish like that he could outsprint Sagan and Viviani if he's in position. I'd say the Valverde, Viviani, Sagan (depending on what kind of shape he's in), Kwiat, and D. Martin are the most likely picks for the top 5 in some order or another.
I think that Dan Martin and Viviani will not going to contest this finish together. Either it's too easy for Martin, or too hard for Viviani.
 
Re: Re:

Blanco said:
Koronin said:
This is a stage that Valverde could win. An uphill finish like that he could outsprint Sagan and Viviani if he's in position. I'd say the Valverde, Viviani, Sagan (depending on what kind of shape he's in), Kwiat, and D. Martin are the most likely picks for the top 5 in some order or another.
I think that Dan Martin and Viviani will not going to contest this finish together. Either it's too easy for Martin, or too hard for Viviani.
You're most likely right with Viviani and Martin. So top 3 should be Valverde, Kwait, Sagan. Of course that is dependent on Sagan's health and form. I'm sure he's still suffering from the injuries, but the question is how much.
 
Re: Re:

Blanco said:
Flamin said:
All depends on Sagan. If he's not in top shape, I can't see anyone beating Kwiatkowski.
Valverde will beat Kwiatkowski in almost any uphill sprint, but I don't know if that's going to be enough for the win.
On a harder finish yes, but this one suits Kwiat very well and he's obviously in amazing shape, so he's my favourite.
 
Mar 6, 2011
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Sagan was a bit slower on the prologue than I was expecting so I have a feeling he isn't 100%. If that's the case it is far more open, hard to tell the exact steepness of the finish but hard to argue Kwiat will be there with that prologue.

I will throw Matteo Trentins name into the hat as well and he will be my pick for the stage
 
Re: Re:

Koronin said:
Blanco said:
Koronin said:
This is a stage that Valverde could win. An uphill finish like that he could outsprint Sagan and Viviani if he's in position. I'd say the Valverde, Viviani, Sagan (depending on what kind of shape he's in), Kwiat, and D. Martin are the most likely picks for the top 5 in some order or another.
I think that Dan Martin and Viviani will not going to contest this finish together. Either it's too easy for Martin, or too hard for Viviani.
You're most likely right with Viviani and Martin. So top 3 should be Valverde, Kwait, Sagan. Of course that is dependent on Sagan's health and form. I'm sure he's still suffering from the injuries, but the question is how much.
Trentin is a danger man from the sprinters, and also some late attack on that flatter part and descent might succeed.
 
Re:

Midnightfright said:
Sagan was a bit slower on the prologue than I was expecting so I have a feeling he isn't 100%. If that's the case it is far more open, hard to tell the exact steepness of the finish but hard to argue Kwiat will be there with that prologue.

I will throw Matteo Trentins name into the hat as well and he will be my pick for the stage

Knew I was forgetting someone, and Trentin would be who I was forgetting.

Still going with Valverde to win the stage though. From the TT his form looks better than it was at the Tour.
 
Mar 6, 2011
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Re: Re:

Koronin said:
Midnightfright said:
Sagan was a bit slower on the prologue than I was expecting so I have a feeling he isn't 100%. If that's the case it is far more open, hard to tell the exact steepness of the finish but hard to argue Kwiat will be there with that prologue.

I will throw Matteo Trentins name into the hat as well and he will be my pick for the stage

Knew I was forgetting someone, and Trentin would be who I was forgetting.

Still going with Valverde to win the stage though. From the TT his form looks better than it was at the Tour.
Valverde is going to be there about I am pretty confident. It depends how much it flattens out in the end if Trentin will come into play
 

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