An intense month of racing in Spain comes to an end with the Vuelta a Andalucia 2018. The Iberic competition, which is coming up for the sixtyfourth time, is going to be hold from 14 to 18 February and, for the second time since it has been introduced, this challenge is a 2.HC event. Because of the course’s variety and of Southern-Spanish mild climate this race is chosen by plenty of teams as a crucial occurrence in the evolution of the season. In facts, twentytwo teams will take part to the event, which seven of those are World Teams. Over the last six editions Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) won five times, demonstrating that any race suits him more than the Ruta del Sol. The Spaniard in forced to fall through this year’s event due to a different arrangement of his calendar but top riders will be play as usual a main role in this competition.
Official hashtag: #64RdS
Vuelta a Andalucia 2018 Gold Book
2017 VALVERDE Alejandro
2016 VALVERDE Alejandro
2015 FROOME Christopher
2014 VALVERDE Alejandro
2013 VALVERDE Alejandro
2012 VALVERDE Alejandro
2011 IRIZAR Markel
2010 ROGERS Michael
2009 POSTHUMA Joost
2008 LASTRAS Pablo
Vuelta a Andalucia 2018 Favourites
Although former Champion Alejandro Valverde is not taking part to the Ruta del Sol, a lot of aces are taking part in this challenge. Pretty much curiosity revolves around Chris Froome, in his seasonal debut. Team Sky leader is seeking serenity and wants to test his condition at the gates of a difficult season. By the way, Sky also lines up Wout Poels and David de la Cruz, who can both afford to play their cards.
On paper Froome’s harshest rival on the start of Mijas is former teammate Mikel Landa, ready to race his first race with the jersey of his new team Movistar, which deploys assistants like Andrey Amador and Marc Soler. One of the most competitive riders over the last month is taking part to this competition and his name is Jakob Fuglsang. Coming off the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, Danish rider is one of the most revered competitors in contention.
The overall favourites may pay attention to Fuglsang’s fellow Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana), Steven Kruijswijk (Lotto Nl – Jumbo), Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Amaro Antunes (CCC-Sprandi), Ben Hermans (Israel Cycling Academy), Joe Dombrowski (EF-Drapac), Tim Wellens and Maxime Monfort (Lotto-Soudal), Rein Taaramae (Direct Energie), Javier Moreno (Delko-Provence Marseille-Ktm) and Sergio Pardilla (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA).
Despite the most challenging sprinters of the international peloton are not racing in Andalucia, in any case the competition reveals very tough and thrilling. The fastest wheels in competition are Moreno Hofland (Lotto-Soudal), Sacha Modolo (EF-Drapac), Andrea Pasqualon (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Clement Venturini (Ag2r La Mondiale), Thomas Boudat and Adrien Petit (Direct Energie), Nelson Soto (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Eduard Grosu (Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini), Marko Kump (CCC-Sprandi), Jon Aberasturi (Euskadi-Murias), Kristian Sbaragli (Israel Cycling Academy), Aidis Kruopis (Veranda’s Willems-Crelan), Coen Vermeltfoort (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij).
Moreover, classics-seekers or aggressive riders as Oliver Naesen (Ag2r La Mondiale), Dylan Van Baarle (Sky), Enrico Battaglin (Lotto Nl-Jumbo), Astana trio Oscar Gatto, Michael Valgren and Moreno Moser as well as EF-Drapac’s one Sebastian Langeveld, Matti Breschel and Sep Vanmarcke can play their cards for a stage win.
Vuelta a Andalucia 2018 Course
The Vuelta a Andalucia 2018 course is composed of two classic-like stages, one up-hill finish, one flat stage and an individual time trial. First stage Mijas – Granada (197,6 kms) sprint has not to be taken for granted, due to a rough course and to a brief ascent just before the finish in Granada. Second stage Otura – La Guardia de Jaen (140 kms) instead is the most selective finish of the race: the Alto de las Allanadas climb (5,5 kms, 9,5%) is a scenery on which climbers will take a leading role. Third stage Mancha Real – Herrera (166,1 kms) is the real occasion to win for the sprinters whereas the last kilometer of fouth stage Sevilla – Alcala de los Gazules (194,7 kms) shows a 8,4% average gradient so that surprises are on the agenda on Saturday. The 14-kilometers-long individual time trial along the streets of Barbate will decide the fate of the overall.
14 February: stage 1, Mijas – Granada (197,6 kms)
15 February: stage 2, Otura – La Guardia de Jaen (140 kms)
16 February: stage 3, Mancha Real – Herrera (166,1 kms)
17 February: stage 4, Sevilla – Alcala de los Gazules (194,7 kms)
18 February: stage 5, Barbate – Barbate (14,2 kms) [ITT]
Vuelta a Andalucia Stage profiles
Stage 1 profile
Stage 2 profile
Stage 3 profile
Stage 4 profile
Stage 5 profile