The shortest route from Amurri to the Santa María del Yermo Sanctuary is 16 kilometres long, but the the riders go southeast instead of north. The opener goes uphill in a very irregular fashion. False flat sections play leapfrog with steep ramps, while short downhill sections offer brief respite. After 22.6 kilometres the riders reach the Puerto de Aiurdin.
By now, the breakaway should be established. If not, the fight is likely to continue for awhile, as the next climb is La Tejera – 3.5 kilometres at 4% -, which will be crested at kilometre 62. Following an undulating section the riders plunge down a long descent to a promising finale.
The riders tackle an unclassified climb in Llodio. The descent runs straight onto the Malkuartu climb. The length is 2.5 kilometres and the average gradient 6.7%, but this is a biased statistic, as the first kilometre goes up at 10.7% before the slope evens out to 4%.
A fast descent leads onto the next Wall. The finish climb is 3.1 kilometres long and the average gradient of this narrow road through the woods sits at 11.1%. But again, this is just half the story. The first kilometre slopes at 10.7%, the second at 15.6%, and the rest of the ascent hovers around 7%.
The first three riders on the line gain times bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds, while two intermediate sprints – at kilometre 97.5 and 141 – come with 3, 2 and 1 seconds.
Tour of the Basque Country 2021 stage 2: route, profile, more
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