The 2020 Vuelta set off from Irún after Utrecht was ruled out due to the Covid19-pandemic. The race went to the Sanctuary of Arrate, and Primoz Roglic did not falter and took the first red jersey. Three weeks later, after an exciting battle with Richard Carapaz, the Slovene won the GC for the second consecutive year.
It has been three years since the Vuelta last visited Bilbao. The steep Alto de Arraiz marked the finale and Philippe Gilbert used it as a launch pad for a decisive attack. Álex Aranburu clung onto his wheel, but eventually the Wallonian dropped him and soloed to the stage win.
This year’s Bilbao finale is not as trying, although it features the raw material for compelling racing. The riders crest the Alto de Vivero twice in the last 45 kilometres. The climb is 4.6 kilometres long and averages 8%, while the middle section is especially trying with several double digit sectors. It evens out to 5% in the final 1.5 kilometres.
After the last passage over the Alto de Vivero there are 14 kilometres remaining, virtually all on descent.
The finale was also included in 2016. The race boiled down to a sprint with Jens Keukeleire taking the spoils.
In the run-up to that promising finale the riders also conquer the Alto de Gontzagarinaga, Balcón de Bizkaia and Alto de Morga, climb of – respectively – 5.3 kilometres at 4.5%, 4.2 kilometres at 5.6% and 8.6 kilometres at 3.5% zijn.
Ride the route yourself? Download GPX stage 5 Vuelta.
Another interesting read: results 5th stage 2022 Vuelta.
Vuelta a España 2022 stage 5: route, profile, more
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