When Tuesday May 12
To La Spezia
Impact on GC 2/5
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Where are we?
It’s yet another day of beautiful coastal views for the peloton for their final stage in Liguria, before heading south-east. The finishing city of La Spezia is also the birthplace of Alessandro Petacchi, although given the kind of rider he became we assume he avoided the nearby hills growing up here.
What’s on the route?
This stage is even lumpier than stage two, with a total of three categorised climbs and plenty of uncategorised ups and downs. None of these ascents could be termed mountains, but the position of the short and steep Biassa climb 10km from the finish is guaranteed to shake the race up.
Its steep average gradient of 7.6 per cent will be enough to take any sprinters out of contention, and ought to make the GC riders tetchy. Puncheurs again look to be the best bet to win the stage and won’t have to worry about a long, flat run-in this time. Whoever leads the race over the climb stands a good chance of making it to the bottom — and the finish line — first.
The results of these middle-mountain opening week stages could be fascinating, especially considering how Vincenzo Nibali laid the foundations for his Tour win last year with a strong opening week.