LA VUELTA 2017 - Costa Blanca
Stage 9: Orihuela / Cumbre del Sol. El Poble Nou de Benitatxell
This stage takes place along the Alicante coastline, with no significant changes in altitude. Almost the entire route takes place on Quaternary sediments of fluvial and coastal origins (grey in the diagram), though some elevations that coincide with calcareous slopes formed by Cretaceous (green) and Tertiary (orange and yellow) materials stand out. The numerous salt marshes and small lagoons we pass are very attractive and mark the transition area between the river and coastal environments, influenced by the proximity of the Mediterranean Sea.
One of the attractions along the route are the Calpe Tombolo and the Peñón de Ifach. This rock, with a height of 332 metres, was an ancient limestone island that became connected to the continent via sand barriers (tombolo) that were the result of coastal dynamics. Its vertical walls, that stand out from the surrounding sea, contain numerous karst caves where enormous swift and seagull populations live.
The stage's finish-line is located in the summit of the Cumbre del Sol, made of limestone rocks, of marine origin, formed 125-100 million years ago (Cretaceous).
Already leader of La Vuelta 2017, Chris Froome (Team Sky) made the most of stage 9's steep finish to claim the victory at La Cumbre del Sol. The British winner of the Tour de France won ahead of Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott), who now trails by 36” on GC, and Michael Woods (Cannondale-Drapac). This is Froome's fourth stage victory at La Vuelta. The day also saw Kris Boeckmans come back to La Vuelta two years after his terrible accident. And Adam Hansen met with Bernardo Ruiz, winner of La Vuelta 1948 and previous owner of the record for most Grand Tour participations in a row.