The riders clip into their pedals in Errenteria, just east of San Sebastian. In fact, the route moves through Donostia – as the Basques prefer to call the city – early on and continues in westerly direction. The first climb of the day is the Meaga (2.9 kilometres at 4.1), which is tackled on the way back towards San Sebastian.
The riders do not re-enter the city though and turn south to tackle the longest climb of the day. The Andazarrate adds up to 5.8 kilometres and the average gradient sits at 3.8%. The route does not go down after the KOM sprint, but continues at lower gradients until the downhill begins at kilometre 80.
The first passage through Villabona – and, in fact, the first intermediate sprint – takes place after the descent. The riders don’t dawdle and tackle the unclassified Goi Ballara (2.4 kilometres at 7.5%) straight away before continuing further south. Upon entering a loop they climb to Altzo for the first time – 1.3 kilometres at 8.7% – and 11 kilometer later they are in Orendain after a 2.8 kilometres climb at 7.3%.
The downhill coincides with the base of the second climb to Altzo. This one is from another side, but it’s the same kind of effort: 1.7 kilometres at 7%.
The riders leave the southerly loop with 24 kilometres remaining and return to the finishing venue. The finale with short and steep climbs opens with a 1.5 kilometres test at 9.7%. Right after the descent the next wall throws in 1 kilometre at 10% before the second intermediate sprint is also situated on a brutal ramp: 700 metres at 8.8%.
The second sprint takes place with only 4.6 kilometres remaining. A short downhill and 2 kilometres on the flat precede the 1.1 kilometres long finishing ramp. The first half goes up at 9.5% and the second at 12.5% on average. Yet, as the final 500 metres open with a false flat section the last few hundred metres are much steeper than that. How steep exactly? It features a ramp at 26%!
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.
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Tour of the Basque Country 2023 stage 3: route, profile, more
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