Tour of the Basque Country 2015 Route stage 4: Zumarraga – Arrate (Eibar)
Thursday, April 9, 2015 - Arrate is a sacred name in the Tour of the Basque Country, and not only because of the Shrine of Our Lady of Arrate. Annually the best climbers in the peloton compete at the flanks of the holy climb. Stage 4 leads in 162.2 kilometres from Zumarraga to Arrate.
Starting in Zumarraga it’s only with 60 kilometres done the riders are in arrival-town Eibar. For Basque concepts it was an easy stroll having only crested one uncategorized climb straight from the start and the Alto de Asentzio. But as off Eibar the ride is peppered somewhat more.
After Eibar the Alto Karabieta lays waiting plus two more uncategorized climbs. Then it’s at kilometre 90 the climbing goats are turned loose with the steep Alto de Ixua (1st category). After this Alto Gontzagaigana, Alto de Santa Eufemia and the Pinares are all lined up with an interval of around 10 kilometres each.
Alto de Uzartza is the closing climb, lust like the Ixua labelled category 1. As a matter of fact, partly it is the same climb, but halfway up the riders turn right.
The 7.5 kilometres climb from Eibar to the sanctuary of Arrate is in the Tour of the Basque Country since 2010. Samuel Sánchez climbed to victory in 2010 and 2011, Joaquim Rodríguez won in 2012 and he was succeeded by Nairo Quintana, while Wout Poels took the flowers last year.
The Santuario de la Virgen de Arrate lies at an elevation of 556 metres. In 7.5 kilometres riders climb 398 height-metres – an average grade of 5.3%. After cresting the Uzartza (580 metres) there are 2.2 kilometres left to race.
The 2012 Vuelta saw Alejandro Valverde out-climb Rodríguez, Froome and Contador on the flanks to the Santuario.
Pedro Horrillo was born at the foot of the climb – in Eimar. He is a philosopher and former professional cyclist. In the 2009 Giro, he survived a crash and fall into a 80 metres ravine. After being saved by mountaineers, he was forced to retire.
Click here to read race results and race report of stage 4 in the Tour the Basque Country 2015.
Tour of the Basque Country 2015 stage 4: Route, profile, climbs, and more
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