The Tour of the Alps (April 22 to 26) makes a playground of the mountainous borders of Italy and Austria, accumulating over 13,000 metres of climbing over its 711km.
Team Sky has already announced that Chris Froome will lead their roster, in the last race before a name change to Team Ineos. His competition includes the likes of Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida).
Ridden for two years in the 1960s, the race only became a regular feature on the professional calendar in 1979. Since then it has made an annual appearance.
Rebranded in 2017 as the Tour of the Alps, the mountainous five stage race has regularly attracted some of he world’s top riders, with those competing for Tour de France overall honours often featuring on the palmarès.
Passing over Hungerburg on the opening day, once again the race honours Michele Scarponi, who won there during the 2017 race, before being killed while training just days later.
Tour of the Alps 2019 route
Stage one, April 22: Kufstein – Kufstein, 144km
As it has since the race was re-vamped in 2017, Kufstein hosts the start of the 2019 Tour of Alps.
The town was also the scene of the start of the recent world championship road races.
However, unlike that day in September, the stage will not take any serious climbs, but with barely a kilometre of flat road, it should prove an unpredictable day in the saddle.
Stage two, April 23: Reith I’m Alpbachtal – Schenna, 178.7km
While the second day may not decide the general classification, with over 3,000 metres of climbing, it is expected to be the toughest day of the week.
The 178km stage heads south, crossing the border from Austria into Italy, taking in the Passo Giovo which, at 15km at 7.5 per cent will provide a stern test, before a short sharp shock to finish the stage.
Stage three, April 24: Salurn – Balselga do Pinè, 106.3km
An uphill finish waits the peloton on Stage three, which takes place entirely in the Südtirol region.
The bunch will tackle only 2,650 metres on Stage three, which takes place entirely in the Südtirol region.
Though there are two categorised climbs in the day, it is perhaps the uphill finish which will decide the day.
Stage four, April 25: Balselga do Pinè – Cles, 134km
Rising to 1391m and coming just over half way through the stage, the 1st category Forcella di Brez dominates the fourth stage.
However, coming less than 20km from the line, it is perhaps the day’s second classified climb of Passo Predaia will make the difference on the 134km stage.
Stage five, April 26: Kaltern – Bolzano, 147.8km
Another brutal day in the saddle and another 3,100m of climbing will close the 2019 Tour of the Alps.
Again there are two classified climbs, with the peak of the first category San Genesio coign just 25km from the finish line, it is likely to be decisive.