Basque Country Cycling Routes


Tour of the Basque Country 2016 - Race Preview

Mikel Landa on Aia The Tour of the Basque Country (Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco / Euskal Herriko Itzulia) is one of the most prestigious stage races in professional cycling, often attracting the best Grand Tour riders. Here we take a detailed look at the route for the 2016 edition and assess the likely outcome for each stage, and for the general classification.

We examine the startlist, examine each stage and pick out the possible contenders for the race.

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Tour of the Basque Country 2016 - Stage Six Preview

Arrate from Azitain The now traditional final stage time trial with decide the winner of the 2016 Tour of the Basque Country. It is a steep climb to Arrate, followed by a reasonably technical descent. The inconsistent nature of the climb will suit punchier riders as much as pure climbers.

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Tour of the Basque Country 2016 - Stage Five Preview

Arrate Stage Five of the Basque race finishes on the region's most famous climb - Arrate. The big guns will all be looking to attack here on the steep slopes to gain precious seconds in their quest for overall victory. This is the queen stage of the race and, coming on the back of four days of tough racing, will be where the real contenders step forward.

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Tour of the Basque Country 2016 - Stage Four Preview

Aia from Aritzmendi Stage Four is the first of three consecutive stages that should have plenty of GC action. Most of the day is gently rolling, but there is a sting in the tail, with the brutal 1.4km climb into Aia via Aritzmendi. This was the star of the show in last year's edition, and should be equally explosive this time, even though it is followed by a descent into the finish line at Orio this year.

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Tour of the Basque Country 2016 - Stage Three Preview

La Piedad Climb Profile The third stage of the Tour of the Basque Country is one that the puncheurs will look to target. It is flattish for long sections, but finishes with three moderately challenging ascents in the final thirty kilometres.

Most of the first half of the stage is as flat as it gets in the Basque Country, before the route crosses into the neighbouring region of Navarra to climb through the village of Uitzi.

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Tour of the Basque Country 2016 - Stage Two Preview

Garrastatxu Stage Two of the 2016 Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco crosses from Bizkaia into the province of Alava. Most of the day is gently rolling, but it finishes with a challengingly steep climb to the chapel of Garrastatxu. There is a small chance that an earlish break will stay away, particularly if the showers currently forecast turn into heavier rain. However, with the teams still relatively fresh, this will most probably be decided on the short climb to Garrastatxu.

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Tour of the Basque Country 2016 - Stage One Preview

Ixua Profile The first stage of the 2016 Tour of the Basque Country follows a hilly course from Etxebarria to Markina-Xemein. The penultimate climb to Ixua could be the key if an attacker is to get away, otherwise this one could end in a bunch finish, as the final climb is easy and the following descent not particularly technical.

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Cycling in the Basque Country

Cycling in the Basque Country The Basque Country is arguably the best region for cycling in Spain. It has something for everybody; with beautiful countryside, interesting towns and arguably the finest gastronomy in the world.

The region is mostly situated in Northern Spain and forms a triangle around its three largest cities - Bilbao, San Sebastian and Vitoria-Gasteiz. It is the traditional heartland of cycling in Spain; home to the famous bike manufacturers Orbea and BH, as well as the Tour of the Basque Country professional race. The region is largely hilly, but a cyclist can easily choose between gently rolling routes and more challenging climbs.

This is an indepth guide to cycling in the region, with information about the terrain, the best towns, Basque culture and some of the finest cycling routes.

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