The riders roll down the start ramp near Centre Pompidou Málaga and past La Farola lighthouse the route enters the pier. Following an U-turn the route continues along the beach on the Paseo Maritimo Pablo Ruiz Picasso. It’s a long and flat straight so it’s time to push a big gear. A left-hander at kilometre 4.2 and the riders climb into the El Limonar district on the Paso Salvador Rueda. This is Mount Gibralfaro with Castillo de Gibralfaro at its summit, which dates back to the 10th century and is overlooking Málaga city and its port. The punchy ascent is 1 kilometre and averaging 5.5%.
The riders drop down to the centre and via a tunnel and roundabout they hit the Paseo del Parque for a new straight. A right turn leads to the Calle Larios and the finish is at the end of it, on the Plaza de la Constitución.
Málaga has been the host city for the start of the Spanish Grand Tour twice in the race’s history – in 2000 and in 2006. In 2015, the Andalucian coastal town hosted the race for the last time and Peter Sagan sprinted to victory ahead of Nacer Bouhanni and John Degenkolb. The last time La Vuelta took in the Gibralfaro climb was in 2010, when Philippe Gilbert took the 3rd stage ahead of Joaquim Rodriguez near the gates of the Castle.
Read also: results 1st stage 2018 Vuelta a España.
Vuelta a España 2018 stage 1: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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