Stage 18, a 143.2 km route from Lourdes to Hautacam, is the final day in the mountains. It will offer the final chance to specialist climbers to gain ground in the GC before a 40km time trial on stage 20. Looking for betting tips? This post contains our Tour De France Stage 18 predictions, odds, recommended bets on Winner, Top 3 & Head to Head, free bets & no deposit bonuses!
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TOUR DE FRANCE STAGE 18 BETTING PREVIEW
Another short-but-sharp day in the Pyrenees includes the mythical Col d’Aubisque in combination with the Col de Spandelles for the very first time in Tour history.
After 58 kilometers of mostly pan-flat roads, there will be fireworks as the peloton will need to conquer two Hors Categorie climbs and one 1st category climb in the final 80 kilometres.
The first is one of the hardest of the race, the Col d’Aubisque (17.1Km at 7% average gradient), cresting with 76.5 kilometres to go.
The route continues with a long descent before the riders enter the Col de Spandelles (10.3 kilometres at 8.3%). This ascent will certainly be used to deal further damage in all riders.
Then, long descent leads to Argelès-Gazost, and that’s the base of the finish ascent - the legendary Hautacam (13.6 kilometres at 7.8%).
The second half of the Hautacam is extremely demanding with kilometres 8, 9 and 11 standing out – respectively with gradients at 10.3%, 11.3%, and 10.4%.
Here, there will be a huge chance for the best riders to gain minutes on their opponents.
Will the Yellow Jersey defend his leadership? Will GC contenders fight for the stage win too?
Stage 18 Favourites
Tadej Pogacar has only two teammates left and will do his best to isolate his rival Jonas Vingegaard, so we expect a huge battle since the early kilometers of this stage.
This strategy will probably see eventual breakaways gaining few minutes at maximum, not enough to succeed at the end of the day.
As a result, Pogacar and Vingegaard are expected to contest the stage win. Of course, if they arrive in final meters together, the Slovenian is faster than the Dane.
Other GC contenders look well beaten against the front duo.
Team Ineos captains Geraint Thomas and Adam Yates both lack the ability to change the pace when Pogacar and Vingegaard go full gas.
Alexandr Vlasov is not brilliant as he was at the Tour de Suisse before retiring becuase of COVID, while David Gaudu can only run conservatively at the moment.
Another French hope Romain Bardet, was right up with the leading GC contenders ahead of Stage 16, but it was to turn into a "terrible" day for the Frenchman, who said he suffered fever-like symptoms throughout. We expect him struggling to keep the pace of the best climbers.
Nairo Quintana looks one of the few riders that could pose a threat here. The Colombian has plenty of experience, knows how to save energies and could anticipate the two favorites.
Louis Meintjes, Alexey Lutsenko and Neilson Powless have chances close to zero.
Looking for a long shot?
So, if not Pogacar and Vingegaard, who else can win this stage.
A combination of riders just outside the Top 10 in the GC, polka-dot contenders, good climbers and stage hunters could from a strong breakaway.
In this case, the likes of Tibaut Pinot, Tom Pidcock, Michael Woods, Bauke Mollema, Bob Jungels, Patrick Konrad, Matteo Jorgenson, Rigoberto Uran and Damiano Caruso can't be overlooked.
Other possible attackers could be stage 16 winner Hugo Houle, Dylan Teuns, Carlos Verona, Nicholas Schultz, Michael Storer, Simon Geschke, Alberto Bettiol, Gorka Izaguirre, Chris Froome and Giulio Ciccone.
French riders are still winless in this edition and riders such as Franck Bonnamour, Valentin Madouas, Tony Gallopin, and Pierre Rolland could make an attempt at ending the drought.
Picking the right rider is not easy task.
TOUR DE FRANCE STAGE 18 PREDICTIONS The section below contains our experts' betting tips on the Tour De France Stage 18 (Winner, Top 3 and Head To Head recommended bets).
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