Catania is the second largest city on Sicily. Located at the foot of Mount Etna, Catania has seen a number of sprint finishes in the past, but during the last visit it served as a start. In fact, two years ago the race that left from Catania travelled on virtually the same roads to Villafranca Tirrena. Effectually, the only difference is that the race is 32 kilometres longer and finishes in Messina, Vincenzo Nibali’s birthplace.
Just like then, the first part of the route runs along the Mediterranean coast. The route moves through Chianchitta before turning inland at kilometre 38. Slowly but surely the riders approach the only climb of the day, the Portella Mandrazzi. The ascent is 19.5 kilometres long and the average gradient hovers around 4%. The summit is crested at an elevation of 1,125 metres before a flying descent of 30 kilometes leads to Terme Vigliatore on the north side of Sicily.
Two years ago, a group of dropped sprinters who lost contact on the Portella Mandrazzi chased invain on the flat to Villafranca Tirrena. Obviously, the good news for dropped riders is that there are 32 more kilometres to regain contact with the peloton this time.
In Villafranca Tirrena, Arnaud Démare outgunned Peter Sagan and Davide Ballerini in a millimetre sprint, while Fernando Gaviria took the spoils in the last Messina finish at the Giro. In 2017, the Colombian outperformed Jakub Mareczko and Sam Bennett.
Ride the route yourself? Download GPX stage 5 Giro.
Another interesting read: results 5th stage 2022 Giro d’Italia.
Giro d’Italia 2022 stage 5: route, profile, more
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