The last time that Bilbao featured in the Spanish grand tour was in 2016. Jens Keukeleire sprinted to victory ahead of Maxime Bouet.
The last World Tour stage winner in Bilbao is Primoz Roglic. The Slovenian jumped clear in the 2017 Tour of the Basque Country with 3 kilometres to go. He held off the chasing peloton and won the race 3 seconds ahead of Michael Matthews.
Stage 12 of La Vuelta could turn out to be an opportunity for the likes of Roglic, who happens to be a fast descender. Following a race with a string of intermediate climbs – especially in the last 40 kilometres – the stage ends with a descent of 7.6 kilometres to the line.
The first 100 kilometres are nothing special. Predominantly flat and with only the Alto de Azázeta (4.9 kilometres at 3.9%) standing out. The finale is something else though, as the race serves three steep climbs. The Alto de Urruztimendi (2.5 kilometres at 9.2%) is crested with 37 kilometres to go, while the Alto El Vivero (4.3 kilometres at 7.7%) is a test with the top 27 kilometres before the line, but the main action will be focused on the Alto de Arraiz. The 2.2 kilometres ramp at 12.2% is crested before a downhill finale into Bilbao.
The first three riders on the line gain time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds, while the intermediate sprint (just before de Arraiz climb) comes with 3, 2 and 1 seconds.
The race is expected to finish around 17.35 local time.
Another interesting read: results/race report 12th stage 2019 Vuelta a España.
Vuelta a España 2019 stage 12: route, profile, more
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