Organizers of the Andalucia Bike Race, a mountain bike stage race in Spain, released details of the route for its third edition in 2013. Featuring 400km and over 13,000m of elevation gain, it will cover similar terrain and distances as in previous years, but with a bit more climbing. As previously announced, the race is scheduled from February 24 to March 1.
New for 2013 are the inclusion of Bedmar and Mancha Real as stage start and finish venues. As a result, there will be fewer stages in Córdoba. The race will still visit Jaén and six days of racing will end there with a time trial.
Córdoba will welcome the race for the first two stages. Sierra Morena is a tangle of flowy trails and fun singletrack. Fresh legs will tackle winding terrain with constant changes in rhythm and plenty of technical sections.
The third stage will remain in the province of Córdoba but will move to Priego de Córdoba. The Subbética Sierra will serve as the introduction to the "high mountains", with longer climbs. Immediately after the stage, racers will settle in Jaén for the final days of the competition.
The first day in Jaén, stage 4, will take place between Bedmar and Mancha Real, crossing Mágina Sierra. Plenty of climbing will test fatiguing legs.
The fifth stage will also start and finish in Jaén may decide the outcome. Staying close to the city, it will feature demanding sections such as Siete Pilillas, San Cristóbal and Jabalcuz. Jaén, at a higher altitude than Córdoba and surrounded by big mountains, usually has lower temperatures, especially on the highest summits.
Finally, the time trial will close the action for the first time. Like in road stage races, riders will start in reverse order of the general classification. It will be a short, intense stage with lots of singletrack.
2013 Andalucia Bike Race
Stage 1: Córdoba - Córdoba, 67km (1640m climbing)
Stage 2: Córdoba - Córdoba, 72km (1980m climbing)
Stage 3: Priego de Córdoba - Priego de Córdoba, 66km (2050m climbing)
Stage 4: Bedmar - Mancha Real, 74km (3340m climbing)
Stage 5: Jaén - Jaén, 76km (2900m climbing)
Stage 6: Jaén - Jaén, 45km (1540m climbing)
For more information, visit www.andaluciabikerace.com.