La Vuelta Stage 20 Preview & Picks

Date IconLast Updated: Sep 28th, 2022
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La Vuelta Stage 20 Preview & Picks

The La Vuelta heads into the mountains one last time on Saturday. Stage 20 might arguably be the second-most challenging stage of this three-plus week race. The riders travel 112.5 miles from Moralzarzal to Puerto de Navacerrada. The mountain includes a 6.4-mile final climb that ends on a false flat.

Can Enric Mas overtake Remco Evenepoel? Stage 18 was telling. Evenepoel and Mas attacked. They squashed a 22-second deficit over the final ⅔ of a mile. Ultimately, the Belgian cyclist sped past Mas and won the stage. 

Let us look at Stage 20 and some possible winners and contenders among the picks for your cycling betting. First, however, how did we get to this point? 

La Vuelta Stage 18 Recap

As we mentioned, Stage 18 featured a little of everything. It had a large breakaway that watched their lead balloon to more than nine minutes. The stage had crashes and an abandonment of note.   

First, Jay Vine, who led the King Of The Mountains, had to leave La Vuelta after a nasty, early crash. It nearly claimed Carlos Rodriguez. The incident likely kept Rodriguez from trying for a podium finish in Madrid. 

That left Richard Carapaz as the leader of the Polka-Dot (King Of The Mountains). He has a 24-point lead in that race. Do not expect him to give it up on Saturday. Carapaz’s odds are rapidly shortening there.

The fact that Evenepoel and Mas were the class of the stage was not that surprising. Both have been getting better and better as the third week goes on. One has to tip their hat to Evenepoel. Few knew what to expect, but he weathered his injuries from the Stage 12 crash.

Evenepoel went live at +2500 and was +3300 to +4000 at points before the mountain stage on Thursday. Those numbers project to be a bit shorter on Saturday.


La Vuelta Stage 20 Preview

Again, the profile here features more actual climbs than Stage 18. The 20th stage serves up five climbs in all. There is an ascent up the Puerto de Navacerrada and Puerto de la Morcuera bookended by two “Category 2” climbs. The finale up Puerto de Cotos has a nasty kick but offers some hope. There’s a brief 10% spike and around 7.5% incline sprinkled in the last mile. 

Now, riders could try to get away on the last mile of La Morcuera. There lies a 9.6% uphill swing over the last mile. It might be a launching point for a Thibault Pinot or Enric Mas. Unusual risks have to be taken here.

The Stage 20 Projected Odds

RiderProjected Odds
Richard Carapaz+600
Thibault Pinot+800
Remco Evenepol+1200
Enric Mas+1400
Joao Almeida+1600
Marc Soler+1800

Yes, there is often hardly a dull moment at La Vuelta a Espana. Could you see Evenepoel? Absolutely. If the Belgian wants to cement this grand tour. There will be a chance on that 4.17-mile false flat to take a look at it. 

The key with Stage 20 is the breakaway versus the “General Classification,” as always. The GC riders will again have the nod, but one never knows. If a Carapaz or Pinot get away, no one is chasing them. They do not necessarily have to. However, again, Movistar and Mas want at least a stage win. One never quite knows. Also, does Richard Carapaz go for the stage once the “King Of The Mountains” is sewn up? Many questions remain. 

Furthermore, this is the culmination of a long three-plus week race. Anything can happen on a final mountain stage. 

Peacock will stream the stage live in the States just before 9 a.m. ET. Also, note that Stage 20 might wind up on the Olympic Channel starting at 9 because of canceling this weekend’s English Premier League games.

La Vuelta Predictions for Stage 20

The books will like Carapaz a good deal, but with Vine out of the picture, the focus might shift to Thibault Pinot. 

Pinot and his Groupama have not won a stage yet. This is their likely last chance. Will Pinot be the favorite? Maybe. 

However, between him and Evenepoel, they are our picks – Pinot in a breakaway, Evenepoel if the GC catches up. 

Get ready for the unexpected, and follow us on Twitter (@ChrisWasselDFS) for live updates.