Good morning from Stage 4 of the Giro d’Italia, Catanzaro to Praia a Mare (200km). The first stage in Italy has an insidious and highly technical final few kilometres.
The group, 196 riders strong, passed km 0 at 12.22.
Catanzaro: Sunny, 21°C. Wind: weak – 15 kmh.
Praia a Mare (approx. 17.15 – Finish): Sunny, 21°C. Wind: weak – 5 kmh.
1 – Marcel Kittel (Etixx – Quick-Step)
2 – Tom Dumoulin (Team Giant – Alpecin) at 9″
3 – Andrey Amador (Movistar Team) at 15″
The stage is twisting, but the first 120km are relatively straightforward. The route winds its way along wide fast-flow roads, which feature a few tunnels. Past Cetraro Marina, the route takes in the Bonifati climb and dives into the ss. 18 trunk road, then leaves it to tackle the second categorised climb of the day in San Pietro (with high gradients along the first half). The route grows harder after the intermediate sprint in Scalea, with many climbs and descents, and twists and turns that lead into the final 10km.
The final kilometres are rather bumpy. With 10km remaining to the finish, the route takes in the very steep Via del Fortino climb (with ramps topping out at 18%), and then drops into Praia on wide and curving roads that pose no real challenge. Beware of two tunnels in the first part of the descent (the least steep). The home straight is 2,500m long, on a 7.5m wide asphalt road, curving just slightly, 40m before the finish.