- The 62nd edition of Itzulia Basque Country will cover 992.5 km
- There will be no time trial stage
The official route for the Itzulia 2023 was presented today, 15 April. The presentation took place in the plenary hall of the city council in Eibar, which will host the finish line and has been named the European City of Sport for 2023. The 62nd edition of the race will not include a time trial stage, thus increasing the total number of kilometres that the riders will have to cover before reaching the finish in Eibar.
Julian Eraso and Roberto Laiseka, together with the mayor of Eibar, Jon Iraola, and the sports councillor, Ander Curiel, presented the route for Itzulia 2023, which will take place from 3 to 8 April and cover 992.5 km. The route will cross Alava, Navarre, Gipuzkoa and Bizkaia, in that order, and finish in the centre of Eibar.
This year’s edition will include 26 scoring mountain passes: 3 will be category 1, 7 will be category 2, and 16 will be category 3.
Roberto Laiseka, Technical Director of Itzulia analyses each stage:
Stage 1. VITORIA/ GASTEIZ- LABASTIDA 165.40 km
The first stage of contact with Itzulia 2023 with a climb to the Opakua pass, which will decide the first mountain jersey. From this point the race follows narrow, winding roads until it reaches the Labastida sprint.
Thereafter, the air can take centre stage. In theory, the stage is very likely to be decided by a sprint.
Stage 2. VIANA-LEITZA 193.80 km
The longest stage of this year’s Itzulia, the first part of which passes through Leitza, an ideal area for a breakaway. The entrance to the second part of the stage includes a circuit where the leaders will need to be at the front, as its winding roads and the weather can be decisive due to its long downhills.
Stage 3- ERRENTERIA-AMASA/VILLABONA 153.90 km
A stage with a predictably very fast start covering a large part of the Gipuzkoa coast, starting at Amasa-Villabona with a particularly leg-breaking circuit on narrow roads with ups and downs creating lots of tension in the peloton as the leaders position themselves at the head of the stage. The last kilometre will be particularly explosive and hard until the riders reach Hika.
Stage 4. SANTURTZI-SANTURTZI 175.70 km
A typical stage in the Encartaciones region with many uphill and downhill sections conducive to breakaways, entering the final part with the Asturiana pass and the subsequent descent from the Arboleda, which could be decisive for the outcome, as in previous years.
Stage 5 AMOREBIETA/ETXANO-AMOREBIETA/ETXANO 165.90 km
A complicated stage and a good opportunity for managers to position their riders and where despite there being no significant mountain passes up to Paresi, the race will traverse ideal terrain for testing finishing strategies, entering a circuit in which being at the front could be key to the general classification.
Stage 6. EIBAR-EIBAR 137.80 km
The final stage of Itzulia is a special and demanding stage from the outset, where the main protagonists of the day will be the riders competing in the general classification.
And where a great team will be very important to ensure control, as in previous editions.