The classified climb appears relatively early in the race. It’s the Opakua, an ascent of 7.1 kilometres with an average gradient of 5.8%. The riders then continue on lumpy terrain southwards to enter a finishing circuit in the last 50 kilometres. The terrain doesn’t change though. The route 9oes either up or down for the entire day, albeit mostly at shallow gradients.
Both intermediate sprints are situated on an unclassified climb. The first in Labastida (1.9 kilometres at 3.7%), the second in Laguardia (5.9 kilometres at 2.9%).
The circuit moves through La Rioja wine country before the finale opens with a false flat of 2 kilometres, then serves 500 metres at 5%, and levels out in the last 500 metres.
Labastida and pro pelotons is not a very common combination, while citizins in Vitoria-Gasteiz are used to men in lycra. Whether La Vuelta or the Itzulia Basque country, year in year out at least one major race visits the capital city of the Basque Country. This July we’ll even see stage 2 of the Tour de France roll out from Vitoria.
The first three riders on the line gain times bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds, while both intermediate sprints come with 3, 2 and 1 seconds.
Ride the route yourself? Download GPX stage 1.
Another interesting read: results 1st stage 2023 Tour of the Basque Country.
Tour of the Basque Country 2023 stage 1: route, profile, more
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