Doubtless, the Etna-stage is going to come down to the finish climb. The route also goes uphill in the first 50 kilometres, but that’s nothing compared to the finale. The route begins to rise gently just before Paternò, with roughly 35 kilometres remaining.
According to the road book the finish climb begins 22.8 kilometres before the line. Except for a section near Ragalna, which kicks up at 14%, the gradients are very steady, mostly hovering around 7%. The last 3 kilometres flatten out a little before the section after the flamme rouge is virtually flat.
Are we going to see a GC clash this early in the race? It remains to be seen. If recent history repeats itself, a breakaway rider will be celebrating. Polanc, Chaves and Caicedo won on Mount Etna in, respectively, 2017, 2018 and 2020. The last GC rider who emerged victorious on the volcano was Alberto Contador in 2011. El Pistolero won that edition, but he was handed a backdated suspension and he was stripped of the stage and GC win.
Favourites 4th stage 2022 Giro d’Italia
*** Lennard Kämna, Pavel Sivakov, David de la Cruz, Rein Taaramäe
** Davide Formolo, Koen Bouwman, Thomas De Gendt, Vadim Pronskiy, Jonathan Caicedo
* Richard Carapaz, Simon Yates, Miguel Ángel López, Wilco Kelderman, Romain Bardet
Another interesting read: route 4th stage 2022 Giro.