Following two stages near the Bay of Biskay the caravan goes south to penetrate the interior of the Basque Country. The first climb appears at kilometre 10 and runs uphill for 5 kilometres at 4.8%. In Errigoiti the route starts to descent to a false flat leading to the foot of the Aretxabalgane. Actually, the climb is a kind of false flat to: 4 kilometres with an average gradient of 2.7%.
The route passes just south of Bilbao and hits yet another false flat. This one leads into Gorbeia Natural Park and at kilometre 85 the riders tackles La Barrerilla, a 7.6 kilometres climb at 5% with the peak at an altitude of 649 metres.
The second half of the race is played between 500 and 700 metres above sea level. No major climbs, yet the route is quite challenging at times. With 70 kilometres to go the riders enter a circuit that’s raced one and half times. A punchy 2.9 kilometres climb at 6.6% is in the first half, so it features twice. Following the descent a three staged ascent looms – 2.5 kilometres at 4.2%, 2.3 kilometres at 5.1%, 2.2 kilometres at 3.2%.
Following the first loop on the circuit the riders tackle that 2.9 kilometres climb at 6.6% once more and the same goes for the 2.5 kilometres stretch at 4.2%. After this section the route turns left, thus leaving the circuit with 10.7 kilometres to go. That’s a bit of a bumpy ride. The first kilometres are on descent and the last 3 kilometres take in some uphill kicks, yet the 500 metres to the line are flat.
The first three riders on the line take time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds, while the intermediate sprints (after kilometre 114.8 and after kilometre 152.8) come with 3, 2 and 1 seconds.
Tour of the Basque Country 2018 stage 3: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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