A colossal Alpine stage with over 5,400 m vertical altitude gain crammed in as little as four climbs. The route starts uphill on Passo Campo Carlo Magno, leading into the Val di Sole, and after approx. 45 km takes a first-ever pass on the recently-opened Passo Castrin/Hofmandjoch and enters the Val d’Ultimo/Ultental. The long descent on wide, well-paved roads, winding halfway up the mountainside, leads to the outskirts of Merano. In Foresta/Forst, the route goes up again, entering the Val Venosta and travelling up almost the entire valley. The stage then tackles the Stelvio [2758 m] along the toughest side (nearly 25 km sloping at 7.5%, half of which above 2,000 m). Immediately after the long descent (with several short tunnels in the central section), the route takes in the final climb leading to the Laghi di Cancano, with 21 hairpins along the mountainside (“scale di Fraele”).
The closing climb (nearly 9 km with gradients around 7%) leads to the Torri di Fraele approx. 2 km before the finish. The route crosses two short tunnels and takes a brief descent to the Lago delle Scale, then flattens out, skirting the lake for approx. 1 km. The final 500 m have a mild 3.5% uphill gradient. The home straight (200 m) is on 6.5 m wide asphalt road.