If you’ve been reading GoWin’s extensive guide to all of the stages of the Tour de France 2018, chances are you’re already well aware that the race gets underway on the 7th of July. You’re also probably aware that Tour is comprised of 21 stages.
On Thursday the 26th of July, Stage 18 of the race will begin. This stage begins in Trie-sur-Baïse and finishes in Pau, traversing the Pyrenees. Although this stage is located within the mountains, it is being considered as a ‘flat stage’.
Flat stages are particularly important to the riders who are chasing the Points Classification prize. This means that it’s most likely that this stage will be won by a sprinter. Of course, in the Tour de France 2018, there are many riders who are competent quick riders, so who will win this stage?
In today’s article, we will be discussing which of the Tour de France 2018 riders is likely to win Stage 18, what challenges they’ll face and how this affects their odds of emerging victorious.
Tour de France 2018 Stage 18: Overview
As we’ve just mentioned, Stage 18 of the Tour de France is generally considered to be a flat stage.
That being said, it does also include two significant climbs and a King of the Mountains challenge. This makes it one of the most exciting stages of the race, and it’s likely it will end in a sprint finish.
In the table below, we’ve compiled all the need-to-know information about the stage.
|Tour de France Stage 18|
|Start Date and Time||26/7/2018 at 13:00 (GMT)|
|Expected Length of Stage (Time)||3hrs 50m|
|Distance of Stage||171 km|
|Location||Trie-sur-Baïse to Pau|
Tour de France 2018 Stage 18: Winner Predictions
Although as we’ve just mentioned, Stage 18 of the Tour de France 2018 does include some sharp inclines, for the majority of the route the riders will be on the flat.
This means that the stage is expected to be won by a sprinter, although they must have the skills to navigate the more mountainous sections of the route too.
One of the stand out sections of Stage 18 in the Tour de France 2018 is towards the end of the stage, when the riders enter Pau. Here there is a false flat (which means there is a slight incline), which could take some riders by surprise.
It’s likely that the finale of Stage 18 of the Tour de France 2018 will come down to a bunch sprint. This is because it’s the last opportunity for the sprinters to gain time before the grand finale in Paris on the Champs-Élysées.
Who Are the Favourites to Win Stage 18 and Why?
Although Stage 18 of the Tour de France 2018 is still completely up for grabs, there are a few riders who, provided they don’t crash out early, should be in with a chance of winning.
These are Marcel Kittel, Fernando Gaviria and Dylan Groenewegen. Below we’ve looked at each of these riders’ chances of winning and their recent performances.
- Marcel Kittel – Katusha–Alpecin
In the 2017 edition of the Tour de France, Marcel Kittel rode to a stage victory in Pau, which is where Stage 18 of this year’s race finishes.
He beat out both Dylan Groenewegen and Edvald Boasson Hagen to do this, and it’s very likely he will do the same again this year. Moreover, in last year’s race, Kittel took home a total of five stage wins. In 2018, Kittel has also already won two stages of the Tirreno Adriatico.
- Fernando Gaviria – Quick-Step Floors
Fernando Gaviria is considered to be one of the strongest sprinters in this year’s Tour de France and this is why he’s very likely to win Stage 18 of the race.
In the 2018 season so far, Gaviria has already racked up two major points classification wins (at the Tour of California and the Colombia Oro y Paz). He also took home the green jersey at the 2017 Giro d’Italia and is one of the favourites to take home the malliot vert at the Tour de France 2018 too.
- Dylan Groenewegen – LottoNL-Jumbo
As we’ve just mentioned, in last year’s Tour de France Dylan Groenewegen failed to win the stage located in Pau. He did, however, place second and it’s likely that this year he could achieve a win.
Groenewegen has had a superb 2018 so far, taking home three stage wins at the Tour of Norway. At just 24, Groenewegen is definitely the sprinter to watch in this year’s race.