The riders don’t dilly-dally as they enter a 2.8 kilometres climb right after the start. The second kilometre is especially demanding with its 11% average gradient. The Arribinieta levels out to 6.5% in the last 800 metres, while the inclination from base to top sits at 7.4%.
Riders who are not on board will wake up soon enough. The route continues onto the Elkorrieta – 2.6 kilometres at 6.7% – and Azurki, both of which are served straight after the ‘amuse-bouche’. The Azurki is an irregular toil with ramps up to 16%. The average gradient of the 6.4 kilometres climb sits at 6.8%, while the middle section slopes at 11%.
The race is 30 kilometres underway when the riders reach the valley. Then comes the Elosua, a relatively easy climb of 10 kilometres at 5.3%.
A calm phase takes the riders towards Eibar, but before reaching the town the riders turn right and enter the Krabelin. Essentially, this is the climb to the line, but on the other side of the mountain – the shortcut.
Or should we say, the steepcut? The Krabelin is 5 kilometres long and averages 10%. Which is tough enough, but the middle section is even more demanding as it ramps up to 20%. This part of the ascent climbs at an average of 14% for 2 kilometres.
The route descends on roads that will serve as the finish climb shortly. With 27 kilometres remaining the penultimate uphill test appears. Hardly terrifying, the Trabakua is 6 kilometres at 4.4% and the build-up is gradual. Shallow gradients at the base until the toughest section begins after 3.5 kilometres, but there are no double digit gradients.
A rolling descent into Eibar and then the riders enter the closing climb. The Usartza is a 4.5 kilometres toil at 8.9%, but it actually comes down to the last 3 kilometres at almost 10%. The summit is not the finish line as the route continues for 2 more undulating kilometres. The last 600 metres go downhill, so expect the finish to be at breakneck speeds.
The first three riders on the line gain time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds, while two intermediate sprints – at kilometre 82 and 100 – come with 3, 2 and 1 seconds.
Another interesting read: results/race report 6th stage and final GC 2021 Tour of the Basque Country.
Tour of the Basque Country 2021 stage 6: route, profile, more
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