The 2018 Giro d’Italia continues on Wednesday with a relatively short 153-kilometre fifth stage from Agrigento to Santa Ninfa in Sicily.
It’s a stage of two halves, with the first part of the day covering a flatter section prior to the first categorised climb of the day at 90km, the Santa Margherita di Belice.
From then on, the riders will have to tackle a series of leg-sapping ups and downs including two further fourth category climbs and then a testing climb prior to the finish line in Santa Ninfa. Perhaps a day for the break to succeed?
Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) successfully defended his race lead on the previous day’s stage four, which also featured a tough little climb to the finish won by Tim Wellens (Lotto-Fix All).
The Australian leads defending Giro champion Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) by just one second overall. British rider Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) is in third at 17 seconds.
Dennis could well carry the coveted maglia rosa of race leader into Thursday’s stage six, which features the first mountain finish of the 2018 race: Mount Etna.
The finish on Etna will give the climbers and general classification hopefuls their first real chance to put some serious time into their rivals. It’s unlikely that Dennis will defend the lead, so we should see the pink jersey change hands.
The 2018 Giro d’Italia concludes on Sunday, May 27, in Rome after three weeks of racing.