Vuelta 2020 Route stage 1: Irún - Santuario de Arrate

Vuelta a España stage 1Tuesday 20 October - La Vuelta begins in style in the mountainous Basque Country. Starting in Irún, on the French/Spanish border, the race travels to a steep summit finish near Sanctuary of Arrate. The route adds up to 173 kilometres.

Or, actually, the finish is 2 kilometres after the summit of the Arrate-climb. The ascent is 5.3 kilometres long and slopes at 7.7%, but it actually comes down to the last 3 kilometres at almost 10%. After the peak the route continues for 2 kilometres on rolling terrain before the ultimate section goes downhill. So expect the finish to be at breakneck speeds.

Year in year out, the Tour of the Basque Country serves a finish near the Sanctuary of Arrate. The winners in the last ten editions were Emanuel Buchmann (2019), Enric Mas (2018), Alejandro Valverde (2017), Diego Rosa (2016), Joaquim Rodríguez (2015, 2012), Wout Poels (2014), Nairo Quintana (2013) and Samuel Sánchez (2011, 2010).

La Vuelta served an Arrate finish in 2012, when big guns Chris Froome, Alberto Contador, Joaquim Rodríguez and Alejandro Valverde battled it out on the steep slopes. The latter took the spoils.

The run-in to the finish climb is a gentle way to get La Vuelta started. Following a section on the flat the route takes in three uphills to stretch the legs – Puerto de Udana (6 kilometres at 2.3%), Alto de Kampazar (6.7 kilometres at 4.1%), Alto de Karabieta (6.2 kilometres at 5.2%) – before the matadores battle it out on the steep ascent to the Sanctuary of Arrate.

The intermediate sprint – located at the base of the third climb – comes with time bonuses of 3, 2 and 1 seconds, while the first three riders on the line gain 10, 6 and 4 seconds.

Another interesting read: results 1st stage 2020 Vuelta a España.

Vuelta a España 2020 stage 1: route, profiles, more

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