Eshnar said:STAGE 5: Praia a Mare – Benevento 233 km
Stage start: 11.30 CET, 11 May
A very long transitional stage, 233 km and some rough terrain. Starting where they finished the day before, the riders will venture into the mainland through a sequence of false flats and 5% ramps all the way up to a long plateau, which presents only one little bump at the beginning, the climb to Fortino (2.7 km at 7.3%, GPM3), the only categorized climb of the stage. Despite having only one official climb, this stage is far from flat: After the the first intermediate sprint the aforementioned plateau ends and the riders will descend and start ascending again, 7.7 km with very gentle ramps, at 3.1% average but with some 5% sections, up to the second intermediate sprint in Palomonte. After its gentle descent and less than 10 km of valley, the peloton will hit another uncategorized climb, measuring 5.4 km at 5.9%. At the top of this climb we are at 90 km to go. The next 23 km feature more false flats, and are followed by the last climb of the day (yet again, uncategorized), with 6 km at 5.1%, topping at 60 km to go. After that, there is false flat, a proper descent, and a flat 30 km long run into the city of Benevento. Here the riders will pass through the finishing line once, before making just one lap on a short 6.5 km circuit. The finishing straight is slightly uphill, and the road is paved with large cobblestones (it is a very smooth surface, so it should not be a problem at all, see the Giro 2009 stage 18 as reference).
Not much to say about this one. Short and quite steep. It's only weird that it is the only categorized climb in a stage that features many others, although not as steep as this one. No official profile sadly.
What to expect:
This is on paper the mother of all breakaway stages. However, it is the first week, teams are still powerful and sprinters should be willing to keep it all together.