Vuelta a Espana 2018 Winner Odds & Predictions

Kwiatkoski can enjoy freedom and make Vuelta challenge

Nairo Quintana - Tour de France 2016

Vuelta España 2018 Preview

The third and final event of the Grand Tours for 2018 is underway. This is the Vuelta a Espana which doesn’t have reigning champion Chris Froome taking part, but there is a steller list of riders all in contention nonetheless. The race began on August 25th in Malaga and the final leg will be Alcorcon to Madrid on September 16th.

This is the 74th edition of the race and it is Colombia’s Nairo Quintana who is the 2/1 odds early favourite for success* (betting odds taken on August 26th, 2018 at 6:16 pm). He is the 2016 champion but there are strong contenders looking for success too, like Alejandro Valverde, Vincenzo Nibali and Fabio Aru. British brothers Simon and Adam Yates are both out there for the action. Read our Vuelta Espana 2018 predictions for more.

Vuelta Espana 2018 Winner Odds

Nairo Quintana 2/1
Simon Yates 4/1
Miguel Angel Lopez 11/2
Michał Kwiatkowski 12/1
Alejandro Valverde 12/1
Wilco Kelderman 14/1
Steven Kruijswijk 14/1
Rigoberto Uran 16/1
George Bennett 18/1
Thibaut Pinot 18/1
Bar 25/1
* (betting odds taken on August 26th, 2018 at 6:16 pm)

The route

There are some giant climbs coming up for the riders with three new summit finishes at La Alfaguara, Les Prairies and BalcĂłn de Bizkaia in the mix as well. There are a couple of other mountain top finishes to come in an excursion to Andorra as well and most of the big summit finishes come in the final week of action as well. So the riders are going to have to dig deep in a massively difficult final four days.

Nairo Quintana

So with no Chris Froome around this year, the 2016 champion Quintana will likely fancy his chances here. He will part of that strong Movistar team which includes Mikel Landa and Alejandro Valverde as well. Quintana took a late stage win at this year’s Tour de France to show some bit of form but couldn’t follow up after that, looking a bit short in the latter mountain tests. However, Quintana is an expert at those big summit finishers to the course will be suited to him. He is the 2/1 outright winner favourite* (betting odds taken on August 26th, 2018 at 6:16 pm)

Fabio Aru

Like Quintana, Aru is a former Vuelta winner. He took the title in 2015 but really he hasn’t quite pushed on or done enough there to get himself to the front in terms of being a main contender. He didn’t have a great time of things either in the mountains of this year’s Giro d’Italia and it is hard to see where that extra is going to come from to replicate that 2015 success. He did have a better showing at the Tour of Poland recently, but he’s not done enough to play a serious contender role.

Vincenzo Nibali

He is back fit again and he won the Vuelta back in 2010. He had a bad crash at the Tour de France which wiped him out, fracturing vertebrae. But he is coming back to full fitness and just back in 2014 both Alberto Contador and Chris Froome both had crashed out of the Tour de France before putting in strong Vuelta races later in the year. It can be done and Nibali was actually riding very strongly at the Tour de France before his exit. He took second place last season behind Froome here and has to be back in the picture.

Simon Yates

Yates banked a second-place finish at the Tour of Poland so the 26-year-old is carrying great form. That was his first outing since the Giro d’Italia. It was back at the Giro which really put Yates on the board in his breakthrough race as he banked three stage wins at the Grand Tour and was the race leader from stages six through to 19th. He couldn’t quite hang in on there at the end though, starting to fade in the final couple of mountain challenges but he does look on top of his game at the moment.

Thibaut Pinot

He will be a decently backed outsider because he has had a good year. He has not ridden the Vuelta since 2014. He took a Tour of the Alps victory ahead of this year’s Giro d’Italia and he would have easily gotten a top-three finish at the Grand Tour, but he, unfortunately, fell ill which ruined his whole race. It was a bad illness too because he is only recently back from it. In his race back after illness, he took third at the Tour de Pologne. If he is 100% then he could make a good shot at the podium.

Alejandro Valverde

The Spaniard rolled back the clock to win the second stage of the 2018 Vuelta as he just edged out Michal Kwiatkowski. Valverde missed both the Giro and the Tour this year so should be pretty fresh really to at least get some good early finishes on the board. He has a pretty strong track record throughout his career at the Vuelta with nine top-ten finishes, six of them top-three including his win in 2009.

Michael Kwiatkowski

The Team Sky rider does at least go with the knowledge that Team Sky has won each of the last four Grand Tour races. So Kwiatkowski is carrying the torch for them and he is at the Vuelta on the back of his win at the Tour de Pologne. He had a very good Tour de France and he now has a big chance to actually ride for himself at a Grand Tour event. His legs seem to be holding up pretty well and won’t have any worries about the big climbs to come.

Predictions

If the legs of Kwiatkoski can stand up over the three weeks of action than the Polish rider has every chance of getting that Grand Tour win and at 12/1 odds* (betting odds taken on August 26th, 2018 at 6:16 pm) he is a nice bit of value to do just that.

Nairo Quintana has a lot to prove after a fairly disappointing Tour de France and of the main front-runners, he does look the best value to just hold it all together without the big threat of Froome to frustrate him.


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