The final score-sheet for la Vuelta tipping 2018 can be downloaded here: 21V_le tipping personale
Stage 20 contained the final questions that the Vuelta had to ask.
And the correct answers to those questions were – Simon Yates can survive, and win, a three week tour; Nairo Quintana is not the rider he used to be; Alejandro Valverde does slow down (a little bit) with age; and Enric Mas is the new face of Spanish cycling.
The stars of Stage 20 and the 2018 Vuelta overall (in reverse order).
Stage 20’s succession of climbs – six in all – were the last hurdles for the GC climbers but it proved a hurdle too far for Alejandro Valverde and Steven Kruijsijk as they slipped back to be replaced on the podium by Enric Mas and Miguel Angel Lopez, who also took first and second on the stage.
Simon Yates let them go at the end, knowing he had enough time spare and he had his other rivals covered.
That simply left the final procession through the streets of Madrid which, while lively, delivered a predictable result of a stage win for Elia Viviani and the overall title for Yates. Perhaps the most significant result was Peter Sagan finishing a grand tour without a stage victory – over-hyped? has been? not worth his salary?
Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!… Swiss, Slovenian, Italian, Brit, Brit!
El Pistolero (Liam Flannery) delivered a second consecutive tipping stage victory for El Sobre Marron but presumably this time it was slightly less of ‘a big f***ing deal’. That win also propelled him to ultimate victory in mountain tipping.
The return of the sprinters on the final stage saw Chapolini (Eli Chapman) return for his second stage tipping victory as well as delivering a late victory in sprint tipping.
But in the biggest la tipping news, Matteo (Matthew B) and Quiero esa Victoria – who have been hiding in the bunch all Vuelta – have nipped through on the line to take the grand prize of overall la Vuelta tipping 2018 winner.
It was a tight finish from Dr Fuentes and El Pistolero, who would have felt no better on the podium when Matteo proudly announced ‘I did it! A leaders jersey in each 2018 GT!’
Matteo’s selection included Miguel Angel Lopez, Peter Sagan, Enric Mas, and Thibaut Pinot, with ride-on cameos by Dylan Teuns, Tony Gallopin, Jelle Wallays, Simone Consonni, and Marc Sarreau. Most of us would struggle to pick that team after the Vuelta, let alone before. Well done Matteo.
That ends a great and suspenseful Vuelta marred only by the unfortunate fact that all three Grand Tour titles are now held by Brits. la\le\il tipping will now take a break until the Giro rolls around next year. Thanks for playing, and enjoy your break.
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