Giro 2023 Favourites stage 4: Fireworks on Colle Molella
image: Cor VosThe race to Lago Laceno is likely to see a battle for the pink jersey on Colle Molella. Probably between breakaway riders, just maybe between GC riders. The route not only takes in three big intermediate climbs, the finish is situated just after the hardest of those three, which is the Molella. (Slideshow route/profile)
Technically, the 4th stage is not a real mountain top finish, as the line is situated on the flat. But effectually it’s next to certain that some GC dreams will be shattered, or at least damaged, as the Colle Molella – 9.6 kilometres at 6.2% – is crested with 3 kilometres to go.
The Colle Molella is a brutal test – more brutal than above-mentioned statistic suggests. The first 5.5 kilometres are misleading with their moderate gradients, as the subsequent 2.7 kilometres go up at an unforgiving 9.4%. The last 1.4 kilometres then return to a tolerable 5.8% before a 1 kilometre downhill makes way to the last 2 kilometres on the flat.
Obviously, it will come down to the Colle Molella, but the run-up to that climb is far from flat either. Following a lumpy first part of the race the riders enter the Passo delle Crocelle (13.5 kilometres at 4.3%) and 55 kilometres later they crest the Valico Monte Carruozzo (8.8 kilometres at 4.9%). The subsequent descent leads onto a flat to rolling section of some 35 kilometres before the decisive climb kicks in.
Evenepoel announced that he sees stage 4 as a good chance to give the pink jersey away. So, a breakaway rider could go for the stage win and possibly the maglia rosa.
On the other hand, if a team decides to keep the attackers withing shooting range, a GC battle is also an option. If so, good GC sprinters – Roglic, Evenepoel, Geoghegan Hart – are expected to prevail.
Favourites 4th stage 2023 Giro d’Italia
*** Bauke Mollema, Santiago Buitrago, Andreas Leknessund, Alessandro Covi
** Harm Vanhoucke, Natnael Tesfatsion, Jonathan Caicedo, Rein Taaramä, Joe Dombrowski
* Primoz Roglic, Remco Evenepoel, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Warren Barguil, Filippo Zana
Another interesting read: route 4th stage 2023 Giro.
Giro d’Italia 2023 stage 4: profiles, route finale
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