Eshnar said:STAGE 4 – Catanzaro – Praia a Mare 200 km
Stage start: 12.20 CET, 10 May
After the first rest day, the Italian part of the race starts from Catanzaro, almost at the very bottom of the boot, for a very tricky stage. After the first 35 km and the intermediate sprint in Marinella, the riders will hit the Tyrrhenian coast, and never leave it, apart from a few incursions into the hills nearby. Statistics say that in May winds have a high chance to come from W-S-W, that would mean crosswinds all day. However don't celebrate yet, because the stats also say winds are weak more often than not. Winds aside, after 85 km of riding along the seaside comes the first decent climb of the Giro, Bonifati (6.55 km at 5.8%, GPM3), with the top at 74 km to go. After a very fast and technical descent, the peloton will get to the coast again, for only 12 km, and then climb the second and final categorized climb of the day. San Pietro (5.3 km at 6.8%, GPM3) is shorter and steeper than the previous climb, especially considering its central 2.5 km at 8.6%. The top is at 50 km to go, and the descent is extremely technical. Back to the sea again, a flat section of 17 km will bring the riders to the second intermediate sprint in Scalea, at 25 km to go, which is where the last part of the stage starts. After climbing roughly 3 km at 4.5% to reach the town of S.Nicola Arcella, the riders will race through a series of ups & downs to arrive in Praia a Mare. Here they'll face the final difficulty of the day, Via del Fortino, 1.8 km at 7.7% average, with max 18%. The pointy look of this climb in the profile is due to a tunnel at the top. In reality, the descent starts as a false flat, as shown in the final km detailed profile. Of the 8.7 km that lead to the finishing line, only the final 3 are flat along the coast.
Very constant and gentle climb. A good first contact with the hills.
San Pietro GPM3
Much harder, with a first short ramp, a very quick false flat section and the main, steep central stretch, before the easier final km.
What to expect:
This is a very nice stage, with huge potential for the spectacle. It will not probably be selective enough for the GC guys, but the stage hunters will definitely give it a go, also considering that the pink jersey will be at stake, unless somebody has literally smashed the prologue. A reduced sprint is an option too, of course.