In fact, stage 9 in the 2017 Vuelta is almost a copy of the route of stage 7 in 2015. While that race left from Torrevieja today’s stage starts 30 kilometres inland in Orihuela. The riders set off to the coast and from Alicante onwards the route is a copy of two years ago.
The riders pass through Benidorm and then continue to Calpe, the winter-base of a lot of pro teams. Last year the ITT was played out in this area with Chris Froome powering to an impressive victory.
Almost 20 kilometres after Calpe the route takes in the first climb up the Alto de Puig Llorença in Cumbre del Sol. With 134.4 kilometres done the riders reach to an elevation of 350 metres. Still more than 30 kilometres left to race.
Following a local round the climb up Alto de Puig Llorença appears again. This time the climb is longer as the route takes in a dead end to the weather station at the top. The summit is reached at an elevation of 415 metres after a 4.1 kilometres climb at 8.8%. The steepest section is 19%, while the last kilometres comes with an average gradient of 10%.
Two years ago the Cumbre del Sol was an unprecedented ascent in the Vuelta. When a bunch of escapees was reeled in on the lower flanks of the closing climb both Quintana and Valverde went on the attack, but to no avail. Then Dumoulin was off for a strong solo effort before being caught by Chris Froome and Purito Rodríguez with 200 metres left. Yet at the eleventh hour the Dutchman came back from the dead to grab both stage win and leader’s jersey.
Time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds lay waiting on the line in the 9th stage of the Vuelta a España.
Vuelta 2017 stage 9: Route maps, height profiles, and more
Click on the images to zoom.