The 4th stage of the last edition of the Giro ran to the shelter Rifugio Sapienza, located at an elevation of 1,892 metres on the south flank of Mount Etna. The closing climb amounted to almost 18 kilometres, while the average gradient was 6.6%. The riders were plagued by constant headwinds and the race never really took off. Early attacker Jan Polanc took the win.
The 2018 Giro features three stages on Sicily and the last leg goes to Mount Etna. The final climb is different from last year, though.
For 2018 the pink race uses a road never covered before. The official climb begins in Ragalna and travels up to the 1,736 metres high finish near an Observatory via a 15 kilometres climb at 6.5%. But actually the route has been climbing for some 25 kilometres when the riders move through Ragalna.
The two steepest kilometres of the official ascent are both averaging almost 10%. The first one begins 4.5 kilometres up the slopes and features the steepest stretch of 15%, while the second toughest kilometre start 5 kilometres before the finish. After this the gradients keep hovering at around 7% before the climb flattens out in the last 1.5 kilometres.
Obviously, the finale is the toughest part of the race, but the first 70 kilometres are not easy either. Following the start in Caltanissetta the route winds its way to the west of Sicily on hilly to mountainous terrain. After Aidone the riders drop down to a more undulating section that leads to the final haul up the Etna.
The first three riders on the line take time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds, while the last of two intermediate sprints (at kilometre 29.4 and at kilometre 60.9) comes with 3, 2 and 1 seconds.
Read also: results/race report 6th stage 2018 Giro d’Italia.
Giro d’Italia 2018 stage 6: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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