Hellín was finish to stage 12 in the 2007 Vuelta a España with Alessandro Petacchi sprinting to victory. Today, it’s highly unlikely that we will see a bunch sprint.
After leaving Hellín a rolling section of 105 kilometres runs to the base of the first climb. At 6.1 kilometres, Puerto de Biar is averaging 4.2%. Following a short descent the Puerto de Onil brings 7 kilometres at 4.2% to the table. The top is crested at kilometre 127.5.
Undulating roads and an unranked climb take the riders to the Alto Xorret de Catí, which is a 5 kilometres torture at 9%. The first 2 kilometres are doable, but then the double grades kick in before the climb flattens out to 7.8% just before the summit. The steepest stretch on the Xorret de Catí is 18%. A steep 2 kilometres descent leads to a slightly uphill final kilometre.
Edition 2017 of the Vuelta sees its fifth finish on Xorret del Catí. In 1998 the now deceased climbing legend José María Jiménez took the win. In 2000 and 2004 Eladio Jiménez (no family) climbed to victory, while Gustavo César did so in 2009. The last time Xorret del Catí hosted the Vuelta was in 2010 with David Moncoutie taking the flowers.
The first three riders on the line take time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds, while the intermediate sprint (at kilometre 159.5) comes with 3, 2 and 1 seconds.
Read also: results/race report 8th stage 2017 Vuelta.
Vuelta 2017 stage 8: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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Details start 8th stage
Details Alto Xorret de Catí
Final kilometres 8th stage
Details finish 8th stage
Scheduled times 8th stage
Route 8th stage
Route and profile final 57 km.
Hellín and Xorret Del Cati at Google Maps