At 134km, Saturday’s penultimate stage might not be long enough for someone to win this year’s Giro d’Italia, but the race could certainly be lost on it.
The stage takes in four categorised climbs, with the category one Col de Vars coming almost immediately after the stage start, followed by the long slog up the cat. one Col de la Bonette.
But it’s the Col de la Lombarde, the penultimate climb of the day, that will really challenge the bunch, especially after 100km of tough racing when they get to it.
Ascending 1,491m over 19.9km at a punishing 7% average gradient, the Col de la Lombarde will see the peloton cross back over the border into Italy for the final short and punchy climb of the day – expect plenty of attacks and for Romain Garcin’s 1:11.13 KOM time to tumble.
The final climb of the 2016 Giro d’Italia is brief (just 2.2km), but will undoubtedly see a raft of attacks as the GC men attempt to steal the pink jersey or claw their way onto the podium.
The Sant’Anna de Vinadio climb ascends 189m at a gradient of 8% and will be the final opportunity for riders to work their way up the overall standings before the sprinters-only affair into Torino on Sunday.
Between the overall contenders and the stage win hunters, there will almost certainly be a new KOM by Sunday.