Ladies and Gentlemen, after today I'm officially hyped. Can't wait for the next mountains but before that we have to get past this:
Stage 4: Catania – Villafranca Tirrena 140 km
Tuesday, October 6th, 12:15 CEST
The last stage in Sicily is the shortest of the whole race, and quite a weird one. Starting in Catania, the riders will go through rolling terrain for the first 50 km, mostly following the coastline. Just before the town of Taormina they will turn inland and cross the hills to reach the other side of the island. The climb they will face looks great on the official profile, but the scale is very inflated. Portella Mandrazzi (GPM3, 19.5 km at 4%) is just a Montevergine kind of climb: steady and very easy overall, but fairly long. It should be more than enough to drop the heavier guys if the peloton wants. The top however is at 65 km to go, with a long descent to come and an even longer flat stretch. The descent is 25 km long, very fast with wide roads. After that, the final 40 km are all flat, with the last 20 directly along the coast.
Portella Mandrazzi: GPM3, 16.2 km at 4.6%
A rather long but easy climb. We have no official profile, so here is Cyclingcols’s.
What to expect:
This should be a good breakaway stage, with the climb in the middle that sprinters’ teams won’t easily be able to push on. If the peloton wants the stage win however, some pure sprinter might get into trouble. There is also some chance of wind in the final section of course.