Volta a Catalunya 2016 Route stage 4: Bagà – Port Ainé
Thursday, March 24, 2016 – At 172. kilometres, the Queen Stage in the Volta a Catalunya goes from Bagà to Port Ainé. The arrival in the ski resort lies at an elevation of almost 2,000 metres, the highest point in the 2016 Volta a Catalunya. To get there riders are to brave 18.9 kilometers at 6.3%.
Straight from the start it’s steep uphill to the Túnel del Cadí, or Cadí Tunnel. For 5 kilometres, the riders disappear into the tunnel and via Seo d’Urgell they race to the foot of Port del Cantó, a 25 kilometres climb at an average grade of 4%. The lower slopes are steepest, featuring grades at 9 to 10%, but from kilometre 6 onwards the climb flattens out. The Cantó was in the 2013 Vuelta in a stage that was won by Alexandre Geniez.
After cresting the Cantó there are 70 kilometres left to race in which the Alt d’Enviny and the closing climb up the Alt de Port Ainé lay waiting. The Enviny is an 8.1 kilometres toil at 6.3% with the steepest sectors near the top. After cresting it takes a while before the real plunge down presents itself.
It is as if the valley doesn’t want the riders today and soon the closing climb appears. In 18.9 kilometres it goes all the way up to an elevation of 1,947 metres. The first 3 kilometres are steepest, although close to the top you’ll find some stretches at over 10% too. Relief is waiting after 14 kilometres on the flanks when a short descent will feel like a blessing. For a moment, that is, as straight thereafter a kilometre at 8% lays waiting. All in all, closing climb brings a 6.3.% gradient on average.
Race results/race report stage 4, Volta a Catalunya 2016.
Volta a Catalunya 2016 stage 4: Route maps, height profiles, etc.
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