The route goes up and down from start to finish. The inclinations are never long, but still, all this climbing and descending will wear the riders out.
The first KOM climb is crested at kilometre 11.5. It’s the Monte Kalbo, 2.9 kilometres long and averaging 7.1%. The route does not descend but stays at altitude for awhile until a short kick-up to the Balkon de Bizkaya clears the way for the plunge down.
That’s more or less the recipe for the remainder of the day. KOM climbs, short kickers, false flat sections and downhills – this kind of terrain is lined-up will account for selective racing. The classified climbs go to Natxitua (2.5 kilometres at 8%), Paresi (4.3 kilometres at 7.7%) and Balerringaga (2 kilometres at 6.7%), but they will merely be of interest to riders eyeing up the mountain jersey, as the action for the stage win comes down to the last 9 kilometres.
Three non-categorised climbs follow in quick succession – 900 metres at 9.1%, 600 metres at 9.6%, 1.1 kilometres at 7% – before the last 2 kilometres fly down to the line in Amorebieta-Etxano.
The town used to be start and finish venue of the Klasika Primavera, which was held until 2019. Still active riders who won the single-day race are Rui Costa (2013), Pello Bilbao (2014), José Herrada (2015), Gorka Izagirre (2017) and Andrey Amador (2018). But there’s more in store. This July, the biggest cycling event on the planet will roll out from Amorebieta-Etxano on the third day of action.
The first three riders on the line gain times bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds, while the intermediate sprints come with 3, 2 and 1 seconds.
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Tour of the Basque Country 2023 stage 5: route, profile, more
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