The start is at the Guggenheim Museum and the riders are off for a spin through the Basque Country. They crest the Morga, a 3nd category climb. The local round closing the stage offers Alto del Vivero, a 2nd category climb to be taken twice – once from the east (Lezama), once from the south (Gernika).
Last year Alberto Contador won the opening stage of the Tour of the Basque Country. With eight short and steep ascents, the stage Ordizia-Ordizia was hillier than this year’s opener.. El Pistolero bested Valverde by 14 seconds and Kwiatkowski by 34 seconds, and the rest of the week he was in the leader’s jersey.
The Guggenheim Museum brought Bilboa fame and in recent years the town transformed into a popular city break destination. The town has a lot to offer, but the surrounding area is nothing short of spectacular – especially if you are in love with your bike. Hills abound and it’s no surprise the Tour of the Basque Country is a regular visitor. Just like today’s stage, back in 1924 the very first edition of the stage-race both started and finished in Bilbao. Francis Pélissier won that edition with his brother Henri finishing second. Both brothers took one stage.
Bilbao is the capital of the province of Biscay. It is the tenth city of Spain with around 350,000 inhabitants.
Click here for race results and race report of 2015’s stage 1.
Tour of the Basque Country 2015 stage 1: Route, profile, climbs, and more
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