Roads to Ride: the Alto de Arrate

In recent years the Alto de Arrate above the town of Eibar has been the final climb of the Tour of the Basque Country. It’s not so famous beyond the Basque Country but it must be infamous inside the World Tour peloton as it’s a brute.

You may have seen it on television but to ride it is a lesson in how TV coverage struggles to reveal the severity of some climbs.

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Homes of Cycling: The Basque Country

The Tour of the Basque Country is on this week and a chance to take a closer look at this region which is one of the hotbeds of cycling in Europe. It’s packed with clubs, pro teams, races, knowledgeable fans and berets.

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Roads to Ride: Jaizkibel

The high point of the Clásica San Sebastián, the Jaizkibel is a mountain at the very end of the Pyrenees and the start of the Basque Country, a hot bed of pro cycling that has produced many champions, teams and sponsors.

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Spain’s Generation Gap

Enjoying the Vuelta? Like last year almost all of the best Spaniards in the race are over 30. Last year Spain finished first in the UCI rankings by nation thanks to Alberto Contador, Alejandro Valverde and Joaquim Rodriguez only the combined age of this trio is more than 100 years. Some said there are no replacements so this site looked at the next generation of riders coming through to pick some names for the future. How have they done this year?

As well as riders tipped a year ago, a look at some new names too.

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Vuelta a Andalucia – Ruta Del Sol Preview

The Ruta del Sol starts today with the added interest of Alberto Contador and Chris Froome. Between now and Sunday the race has it all with sprint stages, a time trial and two summit finishes. Plus it’s live on TV. Each day there will be a quick snap preview for the stage ahead. Today you get two because it’s a split stage with a sprint stage in the morning and a time trial later on.

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Who Will Take Over From Contador, Valverde and Rodriguez

Valverde Contador Rodriguez

The World Tour is over and Spain tops all the rankings: Alejandro Valverde leads the UCI rankings, Movistar win the best team and Spain finish well ahead of Italy for the best nation. A fiesta or a statistical quirk?

Spain’s best riders are ageing, the trio of Valverde, Alberto Contador and Joaquim Rodriguez have a combined age of over 100 years. Who are the young riders carrying the Spanish hopes for the future?

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Roads to Ride – La Farrapona

It’s only appeared once in the Vuelta but La Farrapona has already made a name for itself. There’s the Alto de la Farrapona as the climb and the Vuelta lists the finish as the Lagos de Somiedo. But La Farrapona has stuck. What’s it like to ride?

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Who Will Win The Vuelta España?

A star-packed field contenders and pretenders for the Vuelta with seven grand tour winners and a long list of rivals. But as any astronomer knows, look up at the stars and you’ll see powerful blue giants also a few white dwarfs.

We watched the Tour de France to see a duel between Chris Froome and Alberto Contador but were denied, now they’re back and there’s Nairo Quintana to contend with. Time to point the telescope to Jerez for a look at who can win the Vuelta.

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Roads to Ride: Sa Calobra

Here’s a road that’s almost never raced yet memorable for thousands of European cyclists, from amateurs to the best on Team Sky or Quick Step. Mallorca’s Sa Calobra is a road to ride in both directions and an experience notable for the roads, challenge and views alike.

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Volta a Catalunya Stage 7 Preview

The final stage and a decisive one too. Yes this features laps of an urban finish in a large city but it’s hilly, twisty and the time bonuses can still decide the race.

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