Over the course of the route, each participant can freely choose to participate in THREE timed climbs up to the mountain passes listed below. To be timed, riders must pass over the carpets prepared for this purpose at the start of the following mountain passes:
- BALCON DE BIZKAIA. Timing will start at 9:00 am. Timing starts at kilometer 34.Timing ends at kilometer 42.5 Timed climb of 8.5 kilometers.
Biscayans consider this to be a classic mountain pass. It’s a pass that can be climbed comfortably, without any great elevation changes.
- CLIMB TO NARBANIZ. At the start of the mountain pass. Timing will start at 9:35 am. Timing starts at race kilometer 52.9.Timing ends at kilometer 57.Timed climb of 4.1 kilometers.
Extremely difficult mountain pass with two 20% ramps. From the center of town, we start this short, yet difficult ascent, in which there are different sections. A first kilometer with percentages greater than 10% let us get warmed up and move on to the second kilometer in which we will find paved sections and ramps of nearly 20%. After passing the Narea neighborhood, we will tackle the last few meters in which we will have to give it all we’ve got left in order to make it to the top. From this moment on, downhill segments alternate with short, but very steep ramps until reaching the top in Nabarniz.
- EL VIVERO. At the start of the mountain pass in the town of Lezama. Timing will start at 12:15 PM. Timing starts at race kilometer 117. Timing ends at kilometer 121. Timed climb of 4 kilometers.
While not an extremely difficult mountain pass, the kilometers and the cumulative elevation gain make it seem like a special category mountain pass. The start of the mountain pass is located barely ten kilometers from the end of the stage, which makes the climb a bit easier to take.
NOTE: Time recording is voluntary, so any rider who does not wish to appear in any classification needs only cross over one of the carpets as a checkpoint.
OTHER MOUNTAIN PASSES IN THE STAGE.
In addition to the timed mountain passes, the stage will have three other passes of varying degrees of difficulty.
- The first of these mountain passes that participants will climb is the MORGA pass, also known as Aretxabalgane. This 4.2-kilometer mountain pass is not especially steep and its has 2 different parts, one between Goikolexea and Astoreka of less than 2 kilometers, and a second treeless 2-kilometer stretch with a slightly steeper slope, but one that never exceeds 7%.
- The fourth mountain pass in the stage is the RIGOITIA or ERREGOITI pass. Just over 6 kilometers long, it starts in the streets of Gernika, and while not very steep or with high percentage slopes, depending on the pace and after so many kilometers, it is capable of choking a rider or two.
- The next-to-the-last climb is to FIKA. It is a gentle 2-kilometer climb, but it will cause more than one cycling tourist to put their feet on the ground if they’re not using the right gear. A 30- or even a 32-tooth cog will go a long way to helping you make it to the top of the penultimate climb. We can call this mountain pass a single ramp with a slope that varies from 10% to 20%, and with different bridle paths that take us up between the trees until the last 300 meters to top this penultimate climb in terms of difficulty.