The 7th stage is a prototypical Vuelta race. The route is far from flat, which makes sense as Spain is, after Switzerland, the most mountainous country in Europe. Yet, the steep slopes are absent – or, let’s say, the organization keeps them up its sleeve until the second of third week of action. Still the finale is something to look forward to.
With 12.7 kilometres to go the riders are to crest a 4.5 kilometres climb at 5.4% before tackling a 1.7 kilometres hill at 7.8% with 6.8 kilometres out. The final 5.5 kilometres are a false flat, while the route amounts to 1,941 vertical metres.
Once could argue the route is too hard for pure sprinters. Yet, Elia Viviani won the 3rd stage – featuring some 2,500 vertical metres – ahead of Giacomo Nizzolo and Peter Sagan. Nacer Bouhanni powered to victory in the 6th stage ahead of Danny van Poppel and Elia Viviani.
Chances are BORA-hansgrohe will set the pace in the finale to drop fast men with the intention to increase the odds of a Peter Sagan sprint victory. Yet, Michal Kwiatkowski is also riding La Vuelta and the Pole is another fast finisher after a tough finale.
Or is the breakaway able to hold off the chasing peloton until the line?
Favourites 7th stage 2018 Vuelta a España
*** Peter Sagan, Michal Kwiatkowski, Matteo Trentin, Danny van Poppel
** Valerio Conti, Thomas De Gendt, Michael Albasini, Stephen Cummings
* Iván García Cortina, Nacer Bouhanni, Tosh Van der Sande, Elia Viviani
Vuelta a España 2018 stage 7: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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