Unprecedented stage start from Montenero di Bisaccia. Then the first part of the stage runs along the Statale Adriatica (ss. 16), on wide roads, along the coast, following a wavy profile. The route heads inland past Francavilla a Mare, and reaches Chieti (a short climb with a few punchy bits) where the intermediate sprint is set. When leaving the ss. 5 to reach Manoppello and Lettomanoppello, the roads become narrower, and the surface is worn out at points. The final climb (13 km) begins past Roccamorice. Arrival at Blockhaus (last KOM in 2009 Franco Pellizotti).
The last 13 km go up steadily on narrow road, with several hairpins. Gradients are over 9% for almost 10 km, with peaks reaching as high as 14%. There is a very short counterslope 500 m before the finish. The home straight (200 m long, on 6-m wide asphalt road) has an uphill gradient of approx. 8%.