The first part of the race is not very remarkable. On rolling roads the riders travel in southwesterly direction until the first proper obstacle appears. The long Alto de Cuatro Vientos marks the start of the mountainous second part of the race.
The climb – 11.5 kilometres at 3.8% – is crested at kilometre 74.5. The real descent begins 5 kilometres later and continues onto an extended false flat. Then the riders enter the Alto Collado Venta Luisa, which is a climb of 29 kilometres long with an average gradient of 4.6%. The hardest part begins after 16 kilometres when the Venta Luisa climbs at double digit gradients for 4 kilometres.
Shortly after the downhill the Alto de Castro de Fiabres appears. This is a relatively easy test of 7.1 kilometres at 3.9%.
The route saves the best for last. The Alto de Velefique climb opens with 5 kilometres at 9% before the gradient levels out to roughly 6%. The ascent adds up to 13.4 kilometres, while the average gradient from base to top sits at 7.3%.
Situated at the base of the finish climb, Velefique is a former mining town in the Sierra de Filabres. In 2009, the summit with the same name was the end station of a stage with over 6,000 metres of vertical climbing. The now retired Ryder Hesjedal powered to the win.
The first three riders on the line gain time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds. Furthermore, 3, 2 and 1 seconds are available at the top of the Alto de Castro de Fiabres.
Other interesting reads: results 9th stage 2021 Vuelta.
Vuelta a España 2021 stage 9: route, profiles, more
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