Basically, the stage to Mount Etna is a two-sided affair. The first half is a hilly race before the second half is a descent leading to a rolling run-in to the grande finale on Etna’s slopes. The final climb totals 14.1 kilometres at 6.5%, while the steepest section is 4 kilometres at 8%. It starts with 5 kilometres left to climb and stops just before the flamme rouge. The slope flattens out after that.
Mount Etna was included in last year’s Giro d’Italia too, although the arrival was not on the same spot. A strong headwind made it hard to jump clear on the final climb, resulting in a relatively uneventful climb. Attacker Jan Polanc brought the early break home, while a GC clash never really happened. Let’s hope for a different scenario on this year’s Etna-ascent.
Today’s stage winner must be a Hors Catégorie climber who’ll possibly receives a bonus in the shape of a pink shirt. Dumoulin? Froome? It may be too early for them to reach for pink and defend the maglia rosa for almost three weeks.
Favourites 6th stage 2018 Giro d’Italia
*** Fabio Aru, Esteban Chaves, Simon Yates, Miguel Ángel López, George Bennett
** Thibaut Pinot, Tom Dumoulin, Chris Froome, Louis Meintjes, Ben O’Connor
* Robert Gesink, Matej Mohoric, Wout Poels, David de la Cruz, Giulio Ciccone
Giro d’Italia 2018 stage 6: Route maps, height profiles, and more
Click on the images to zoom.