The 2018 Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana sets off in Oropesa del Mar, which was the arrival place of the ITT that opened the race two years ago. Wout Poels – who eventually turned out on top in that edition – showed his good form early on by besting Luis León Sánchez and then World Champion Vasil Kiryienka.
The 1st stage of the 2018 edition runs to Peñíscola, located some 50 kilometres north of Oropesa del Mar, also on the Mediterranean coast. The route is predominantly rolling, although at kilometre 86 the riders crest La Bandereta – a peak to 781 metres that featured in last year’s Vuelta. Yet, it’s certainly not the hardest climb in Valencia and following the descent another rolling section leads to the last 40 kilometres – the first half of which goes down, while the second half is on the flat.
In 2016, the Vuelta a España finished in this historical town Peñíscola with a bunch sprint. Jean-Pierre Drucker outpowered Rüdiger Selig and Nikias Arndt to take his first and only Grand Tour stage win.
The name Peñiscola is derived from the Latin word ‘peninsula’. The origin of the town is a fortified seaport, built on a rocky headland and joined to the mainland by a narrow strip of land. Its strategic position accounts for an eventful history with a multitude of different rulers, such as the Phoenicians, Hannibal, and the Knights Templar. Who will rule in Peñiscola to take the first leaders jersey in the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana?
The first three riders on the line take time bonuses of 6, 4 and 2 seconds.
Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana 2018 stage 1: Route maps, height profiles, and more
Click on the images to zoom.