Rialp lies at an elevation of 700 metres and Valls at 195 meter, so ultimately the race is going down. But as we are in Catalunya the riders defintely face some climbs. With almost 80 kilometres done they arrive at the top of Port d’Àger at 912 metres after a 10 kilometres climb. Then the plunge down continues.
Following a climb with around 30 kilometres left it gets really interesting when the finale brings Alt de Lilla. With 6.3 kilometres at 4.8% no way near a calf crusher, but as the top is crested right before a 7.2 kilometres drop to the finish line, we can expect the fireworks to be detonated on the flanks of the Lilla.
In recent years, Valls has grown to become a popular arrival town in the Volta a Catalunya. In 2013 Simon Gerrans was victorious after a hilly stage, in 2014 Luka Mezgec outsprinted the pack, while last year it was Alejandro Valverde powering to the win after a late attack and a brilliant finale. In fact, the Valverde showdown was on exactly the same streets as this year’s finale.
The people of Valls are in love with calçots, a type of onion that is barbecued and served with Romesco sauce during so called calçotadas. With ease the ‘Valencians’ consume over 400 million during the season, which runs from December to May.
Race results/race report stage 5, Volta a Catalunya 2016.
Volta a Catalunya 2016 stage 5: Route maps, height profiles, etc.
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