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 will feature three stages on Sicily and the last leg is set to finish on Mount Etna, but not after the same climb as last year – or, for that matter, earlier editions. The Giro d’Italia visited the Etna before in 1967, 1989, 2011, 2017, and every time the finish was near the Rifugio Sapienza.
For 2018 the pink race uses a road never before covered. The official climb begins in Ragalna and travels up to the 1,736 metres high finish near an Observatory via a 14.1 kilometres climb. But actually the route has been climbing for some 15 kilometres when the riders move through Ragalna. The most tricky section of the official climb is 4 kilometres at 8%.
Obviously, the finale is the toughest part of the race, but the first 80 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 from 816 metres to 64 metres at the base of the closing climb. Ragalna – as said, the official start of the last ascent – lies at an elevation of 813 metres.
Giro d’Italia 2018 stage 6: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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