Riders get under ways in Collecchio, a tiny village in the shadows of Parma. It is known for the Via Francigena, a pilgrim route which runs from Canterbury in England to Rome and passes through today’s departure point.
Upon leaving the village the bunch cycles to the south-west. In order to reach the Mediterranean, riders must crest the Passo Cento Croci. The climb starts easy but the last three kilometres have an average gradient over 7%.
After the twisting descent of the Passo Cento Croci some small hills navigated and the riders then reach the sea. From that point onward, the trail is almost flat for 70 kilometers. Upon reaching the finishing town of Savona, the riders turn right for a loop inland where they face the Naso di Gatto, a 17 kilometre climb that only gets difficult in the last 5, which don’t drop under 6%.
From the top it’s still 28 kilometres back to the finish line in Savona. It’s a long descent until the last 4 kilometres through the town. The stage is made for a breakaway so expect a tough battle early on in the stage for the breakaway for form.
Look out for Stephan el Sharaawy is at the finish line today. The AC Milan striker hails from Savona.
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