To be honest, the first half of the race in not entirely flat – we should have said something like rolling. Regardless the phrasing, the opening of the 5th stage is perfect to open up a gap and form a strong break. Approximately 75 kilometres into the race the route gets hillier and the riders climb to Santa Margherita de Belice. After that, three similar hills follow – all with max gradients at around 5%.
The riders reach the crest of the penultimate climb with 10 kilometres to go. Following the descent the route climbs for 900 metres at more than 6% before the flamme rouge flies above the road. The last kilometre is rolling.
The Giro’s 5th stage is tailor made for attackers. Sprinters won’t like the second half of the race, while GC guys will ride with tomorrow’s stagee to Mount Etna in the back of their heads.
Good descenders could strike on the drop to the foot of the last climb. Thinks the likes of Mohoric and Pantano. Only that punchy last slope left before holding off chasers on the rolling run-in to the line. Obviously, a sprint of a select group is a viable scenario, too.
Favourites 5th stage 2018 Giro d’Italia
*** Tim Wellens, Wout Poels, Matej Mohoric, Jarlinson Pantano
** Davide Formolo, Zdenek Stybar, Alexey Loetsenko, Koen Bouwman
* Giovanni Visconti, Luis León Sánchez, Valerio Conti, Gianluca Brambilla, Ben Hermans
Giro d’Italia 2018 stage 5: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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