Vuelta a España 2012: Stage 18 preview

Flat one for the sprinters

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Distance: 186.4km

Highest point: 890m

Category: Flat

Look to the sprinters

The 2012 Vuelta offers a mere half a dozen or so opportunities to the sprinters and this is among the most obvious of them. A lot of the riders will be familiar with some of these roads from the Vuelta a Castilla y León and they will be well aware that the principal danger comes from the wind. Although relatively flat, the stage takes place on the high plains. If it starts to blow, the peloton could split all too easily, especially given the fatigue that most of the field will be fighting by now. Valladolid has a long Vuelta history. The late Wouter Weylandt won the last stage into the city in 2008, outsprinting Matti Breschel.

Bingen Fernández: "This will be a very fast stage. It runs more or less downhill into Vallodolid. This is a very windy area, though. Normally, it should be a bunch sprint but the wind will decide whether it’s a big group or a small group that contests it."

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