Vuelta 2023 Route stage 8: Dénia - Xorret de Catí
Saturday 2 September - The Tour of Spain presents a mountainous stage with an elevation gain of over 3,600 metres on the eighth day of action. The route goes from Dénia to Xorret de Catí and takes in 165 kilometres and five intermediate climbs. The last ascent is a beast before a short downhill leads onto the slightly uphill home straight.
Dénia is situated on the Costa Blanca, just north of cycling hotbed Calpe. While Calpe is famous for being the destination of choice for many pro-cycling teams preparing for the season, Dénia and La Vuelta is a less obvious combination. The last time that the Spanish Grand Tour visited the Valencian beach town was in 1990. The race went to Murcia and Silvio Martinello sprinted to triumph.
Fast finishers leaving Dénia will cherish no such hope this time. The route goes to the Xorret de Catí in the Sierra del Maigmó. The finale looks set to detonate the fireworks. Starting with 1 kilometre at 8.5% the road ramps up to accumulate into a 3.9 kilometres climb with an average gradient of 11.4%. Close to the top it levels out a little, although still going up at insane numbers. The steepest stretch ramps up to 22%.
After the top the route continues with a 2 kilometres descent before going uphill again after the flamme rouge.
The run-up to the Xorret de Catí is not for the faint of heart either. The first 20 kilometres of the stage are flat and then it goes up and down, up and down, up and down, ad infinitum. Four classified climbs and a series of non-KOM slopes set the tone before the Xorret de Catí shows its teeth. The classified climb go by the names of Alto de Vall d’Ebo, Puerto de Tollos, Puerto de Benifallim, Puerto de Carrasqueta, and they throw in, respectively, 7.9 kilometres at 5.7%, 4.2 kilometres at 5.6%, 9.5 kilometres at 4.9%, and 10.9 kilometres at 4.6%.
La Vuelta last visited the Xorret de Catí in 2017. Julian Alaphilippe won from the breakaway after dropping Rafal Majka and Jan Polanc in the last kilometre. The Frenchman thus succeeded David Moncoutie (2010), Gustavo César (2009), Eladio Jiménez (2000,2004) and José María Jiménez (1998) as a Vuelta stage winner on Xorret de Catí.
The first three riders on the line gain time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds, while the intermediate sprint – atop the Puerto de Carrasqueta – comes with 6, 4 and 2 seconds.
Ride the route yourself? Download GPX 8th stage 2023 Vuelta.
Another interesting read: results 8th stage 2023 Vuelta.
Vuelta a España 2023 stage 8: routes, profiles, more
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