Departure place Escaldes and Grand Tours. In recent years that has become such an obvious combination that people who live in the parish take a pro cycling peloton for granted. Two years ago stage 12 of the Vuelta left here and in 2016 the 10th stage of the Tour de France started in Escaldes.
In stage 4 of the Vuelta a España the riders descent from Andorra to Catalonia. On flat and rolling roads they cross the autonomous community in northeastern Spain for an arrival in coastal town Tarragona. The only real – albeit modest – hurdle is the Alto de Belltall, crested with 66 kilometres remaining. The last 500 metres are a false flat at 3 to 4%. So that’s perfect for ‘Strong’ John Degenkolb.
The last time Tarragona hosted the Vuelta was in 2013 with Philippe Gilbert powering to victory on a slightly uphill arrival. In retrospect, it proved to be his only win in the rainbow jersey.
The first three riders on the line take time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds, while the intermediate sprint (at kilometre 167.7) comes with 3, 2 and 1 seconds.
Read also: results/race report 4th stage.
Vuelta 2017 stage 4: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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