This queen stage across the Alps will feature a double pass over the Stelvio, first along the Bormio side, and then taking a first-ever climb up the Swiss side. The stage starts from Rovetta, starting stage town in 2008, and initially, the route climbs slightly, cutting across the Val Camonica. Next, the peloton clears the Mortirolo Pass (along the southern side, as in 1990), with gradients topping out at 16% in the last kilometres. Then comes a narrow and very technical descent leading to Grosio, where the route will run up the Adda River valley, heading for the first passage in Bormio that marks the beginning of a 100-km “circuit”. First, the route climbs up the Stelvio Pass (Cima Coppi), with a very technical descent leading to Prato allo Stelvio, and then enters Switzerland, heading for the Umbrailpass (Giogo di Santa Maria). The climb totals 13.5 km, at a steady 9% gradient, with peaks topping out at 12%. Another technical descent (with a few tunnels along the route) then leads all the way to Bormio (already stage town at the Giro for fourteen times).
The final 20 km are essentially downhill. A little after the red flag, in Bormio, the route takes a U-turn and levels out, heading for the finish after a few 90-degree bends. The finish line lies on a 100-m long and 7.0-m wide asphalt home stretch.