David Etxebarría. Does the name ring a bell? In the 1999 Tour de France the Basque did win two stages. The departure place of the 2016 Tour of the Basque Country has the same name as the former professional cyclist. And the other way around. By the way, Etxebarria wasn’t born in Etxebarria .
Straight from the start the first climb looms and with 10 kilometres done Gontzagaigana is crested. Another 12.5 kilometres down the road the peak of Santa Eufemia welcomes the riders. Quite an impressive opening of the 2016 Tour of the Basque Country.
Following an intermediate the climbing re-starts with 60 kilometres done. With intervals of 15 kilometres one after the other top is crested for the rest of the race.
Gontzagaigana and Santa Eufemia are in the road book twice: the second time with 50 and 40 kilometres to go. Via the longest climb of the day, Ixua (peaking at 560 metres), and the Alto de Aiastia the race heads for the finish lin. The last peak is crested with 8.3 kilometes left and then the drop takes the riders from an elevation of 355 metres to 100 metres. The stage concludes with 2 flat closing kilometres.
In the 2014 edition arrival place Markina-Xemein played a prominent role in the Tour of the Basque Country. Both the closing stage, an individual time trial, and the penultimate stage were played out here. Those stages were won by Tony Martin and Ben Swift, while Alberto Contador took the overall
In 2015, stage 1 both started and finished in Bilbao with Michael Matthews sprinting to glory.
Race results/race report stage 1, 2016 Tour of the Basque Country.
Tour of the Basque Country 2016 stage 1: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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