Aracena is your typical Andalusian village with its special attraction hidden underground. La Gruta de la Maravillas – or, Cave of Wonders – is a subterranean complex that stretches for around 2,130 metres. The network of limestone caverns is a natural underground monument with subterranean lakes, stalactites, stalagmites, and dripstone curtains. The temperatures in the cave is always 16°Celsius to 19°Celsius, with around 98% humidity.
Once on the road the riders will yearn for a cool cave, as this part of Spain is notorious for being extremely hot in summer. The route is ‘Spanish flat’, which means that it goes up and down all day without any real climbing.
That is, until the finale. The Montasterio de Tentudía is a hilltop monastery. The road starts to climb at kilometre 152. The first 3 kilometres rise at almost 7% before it levels out and even descends for a bit. The dash for the top is a 4.1 kilometres dig at 7.4%. Taken from base to finish, the ascent to the monastery is 10.3 kilometres long and averages 5%.
Ride the route yourself? Download GPX stage 17 Vuelta.
The 17th stage of La Vuelta starts at 13:05 and the race is expected to finish around 17:30 – both are local times (CEST).
Another interesting read: results 17th stage 2022 Vuelta.
Vuelta a España 2022 stage 17: route, profile, more
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