Euskal Herriko Itzulia 2018 - April 2-7

Route



Stage 1 - Zarautz › Zarautz (162.1k)


Stage 2 - Zarautz › Bermeo (152.7k)


Stage 3 - Bermeo › Valdegovia (184.8k)


Stage 4 - Lodosa › Lodosa (19.4k) EZF


Stage 5 - Vitoria › Eibar (164.7k)


Stage 6 - Eibar › Arrate (122.2k)


Roadbook

Teams & Riders

Movistar Team (Quintana, Landa)
AG2R La Mondiale (Bardet, Vuillermoz, Latour)
Astana Pro Team (Fraile, Cataldo)
Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team (Nibali, 2x Izagirre)
BMC Racing Team (Teuns, Porte, Caruso, TvG)
BORA - hansgrohe (Buchmann, McCarthy)
Burgos-BH (Herklotz, Mendes)
Caja Rural - Seguros RGA (Pardilla, Mas)
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits (Navarro, Herrada)
Euskadi - Murias (Prades, Sanz)
Groupama - FDJ (Vaugrenard, Morabito)
Lotto Soudal (Monfort, Lambrecht)
Mitchelton-Scott (S.Yates, Nieve, Albasini)
Quick-Step Floors (Alaphilippe, Mas, Narvaez)
Dimension Data (Anton, Pauwels)
Team EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale (Moreno, Uran)
Team Katusha - Alpecin (Zakarin, Spilak)
Team LottoNL-Jumbo (Martens, Roglic)
Team Sky (Kwiatkowski, Sivakov)
Team Sunweb (Matthews, ten Dam)
Trek - Segafredo (Mollema, Guerreiro)
UAE-Team Emirates (Costa, Atapuma)


Previous winners

2017 | VALVERDE Alejandro
2016 | CONTADOR Alberto
2015 | RODRÍGUEZ Joaquim
2014 | CONTADOR Alberto
2013 | QUINTANA Nairo
2012 | SÁNCHEZ Samuel
2011 | KLÖDEN Andréas
2010 | HORNER Chris
2009 | CONTADOR Alberto
2008 | CONTADOR Alberto
 
I have a hard time judging how good this route is by the profiles, but I don't like the final stage. I like the 2016-stage much better when the finishing climb was the penultimate or 3rd last climb, that made for some really good racing. But I guess its definitely a better route that last year's which was pretty tragic tbh.

Landa or Ion ftw, I really hope a Basque finally wins again. Also, look at these past 10 year's winners!

Also, whats up with the name?
 
New logo


New website

New intro

There has been a rebranding, with the help of the Basque Country turism office, it can easily be noticed in the stages info that includes tourism information about each town.

The first stage has a quite interesting end, with Aia (not the hardest side) and then the new climb of Elkano, 2,4km at more than 9% and a first km around 12% they will be riding along the coast, so helicopter images of the coastline should be expected

The second stage will be harder, the end is a constant up and down along the coast, with the last climb of San Pelaio, the start of the climb is through a very narrow and rough road and then 3,4km at 8,3%, this route has been choosen to show San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, it's next to the last climb. Another interesting point will be a small uphill road of 11% at just 400m from the finish line

The 4th stage will be harder than the 5th IMO, Endoia and Azurki are a good combination of climbs
 
Re:

Rollthedice said:
Landa against Quintana, popcorn time.
Yep Quintana did not appear happy about working for Valverde at Catalonia, so this is going to be even more contentious. Plus a preview of both Tour de Suisse and Tour de France. I think I'm going to need more popcorn and maybe some wine as well.

Also going to go with whoever wins this will not be a rider from Movistar.
 
Many riders to watch in this race. Many big names haven't performed very well so far this year, like Porte, Zakarin or Spilak and will finally want to get a good result, while I'm just personally interested how Mas will perform, and ofc the Movistar duel could turn out quite entertaining as well. I'm looking forward to it. There couldn't really be a better race to bridge the gap from the ronde to Paris Roubaix.
 
Does anyone know how Alaphilippe is approaching this? Just a rehearsal for the Ardennes or something more serious? If he's here to give it 100% then this profile for Stage 1 is absolutely ideal.
 
Profiles for the key climbs:

Stage 1:

Jaizkibel (Hondarribia)


Aia (first part only)


Frustratingly, nobody’s mapped this side of Elkano other than the official route book, but the descent via Meaga is mapped. The neighbouring Urdaneta climb is mapped but not Elkano from Zarautz. Looks like a killer, and should be a beauty, the coast around Zumaia and Zarautz is wonderfully scenic with the mountains rising straight out of the sea.



Descent:


Stage 2:

Sollube:


Debatable as to whether this or the Artike side is the toughest side of the classic Sollube climb. They move on to one of my very favourite Basque towns, Bermeo is a real beauty, nestled in the Urdaibai estuary which houses my favourites from the estropadak, and with Monte Sollube overlooking it.

San Pelaio:


It looks like with the attempt to ensure good shots of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe (a worthwhile sight in the area even if, like me, there is nothing you could possibly care less about than Game of Thrones) they’re going along the old northern road to San Pelaio, which is steeper and less consistent, so should be more selective.

Stage 3:

La Barrerilla:


Not much reason to care about this other than that it would be way cooler if they went over the classic Puerto de Orduña, which would result in a brief detour into Burgos and take us directly to the same finishing town as well as offering views of the Salto del Nervión, one of País Vasco’s best natural wonders, as well as being a harder climb with much more history. I have about 15 País Vasco routes stored up for use at various times in the Race Design Thread, the fact is there’s only so much that can still be discovered there however, but I’ve had a couple with an MTF across the Burgos border at Salto del Nervión parking immediately after Orduña. Anyways, this is the stage intended for the sprinters with the rolling outcomes, but as ever it’s País Vasco so there are few real sprinters on the startles - there’s the likes of Rojas and Albasini, sure, but this might be a good chance for the wildcard teams to get a good placement with the likes of Edu Prades or Nelson Soto. Realistically Michael Matthews will win.

Stage 4:

About as flat a TT as we’ve ever seen in País Vasco, makes the overlong Güeñes TTs look like the Eibar-Arrate-Eibar or Oñati TTs.

Stage 5:

Elosua:


Also known as Gorla, this is the final climb of a legendary amateur/espoir race in Spain, won this year by Torbjørn Alexander Hejman, a Norwegian riding for the Hostal Latorre team (!). Historical winners include Sergio Samitier, Jonathan Lastra (who starts Itzulia for Caja Rural), Omar Fraile, Jesús Herrada, Mikel Landa, Andrey Amador, Beñat Intxausti, Alberto Fernández de la Puebla, Juan Manuel Gárate, Joaquím Rodríguez, Santi Blanco, Íñigo Cuesta, Alberto Fernández, Pello Ruíz Cabestany, Julián Gorospe, Carlos Sastre and Alberto Contador.

Endoia/Azurki:


I just wish they’d put Erdoitza between the climbs to improve connectivity, or put the Arrate MTF before this stage, because this finale is otherwise excellent.

Stage 6:

Elgeta:


Ixua (Arrate classic side):


Urkaregi/San Miguel:


Usartza (Arrate via Matxaria):


Personally I wish they’d not always come back via Urkaregi as it stifles earlier moves, and while I appreciate that the classic side of Arrate had become too predictable as everybody knew when to make the moves, I’d be interested in what would happen if they’d have the first climb be via the Matxaria side and then the second climb to the MTF being on the classic side, but if instead of Urkaregi they instead went the other way from Markina-Xemein to Ziortza and climbed Muniozguren, the descent of which then would be through Trabakua, so essentially doing the first 10km of the real life stage in reverse, and then climbing the classic side of Arrate.
 
This is a beautiful race. The nature is stunning. I have ridden the Jaizkibel, very steady. I think the action will be on the steeper climbs. I hope we will se some action.

Let the Landa hype train begin!
 

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