The parcours of the 36th Vuelta Ciclista a la Provincia de San Juan has been unveiled by race organisers. The stage three 14.4km time trial in San Juan and stage five finish to Alto Colorado, a day after the mid-race rest day, are expected to shape the general classification. The Argentinian race will take place 21-28 January, starting and finishing in the western city of San Juan.
The likes of Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) have already been named as return starters for the race with seven WorldTour teams, five Professional Continental teams, seven Continental teams and seven national teams to take to the start line on 21 January. Trek-Segafredo, the team of 2017 champion Bauke Mollema, is also named on the start list. Multiple Tour de France stage winner Rafa Majka (Bora-hansgrohe) is also expected to ride, adding his name to the list of GC contenders.
On paper, the two opening stages are titled towards the aspirations of the sprinters. With time bonus of 10, 6, 4 seconds, there is also the possibility of the general classification coming into play before the stage three time trial. Stage four from San Jose Jachal to Valle Fértil/Villa San Martín is again suited to a bunch finish, the inclusion of two category one climbs though will test the sprinters, with the rest day to follow.
The race resumes with stage five starting in San Martín, taking the peloton to the Alto Colorado finish at 2565 metres in elevation. The stage is the sole mountain finish in 2018 with the race to conclude with two more stages for the sprinters. Although bonifications are on offer all but stage three, the climb to Alto Colorado is likely to decide the 2018 winner of the Vuelta a San Juan.
From Argentina. several teams and riders from the Vuelta a San Juan are expected to head north for the inaugural 2.1 Colombia Oro y Paz which takes place 6-11 February.
Vuelta Ciclista a la Provincia de San Juan 2018
Stage 1, January 21: San Juan - Pocito, 148.9km
Stage 2, January 22: Peri Lago Punta Negra - Peri Lago Punta Negra, 149.9km
Stage 3, January 23: San Juan - San Juan (ITT), 14.4km
Stage 4, January 24: San Jose Jachal - Valle Fértil/Villa San Martín, 182.2km
Rest Day, January 25:
Stage 5, January 26: San Martín - Alto Colorado, 169.5km
Stage 6, January 27: San Juan/Cantoni - Difunta Correa - San Juan/Cantoni, 152.6km
Stage 7, January 28: San Juan - San Juan, 141.3km