A colossal Alpine stage across the Aosta Valley. Initially, the route runs through the Canavese and the Dora Baltea valley, all the way to Aosta. The stage course then takes in three long consecutive ascents to Pila, Verrogne and Cogne. At over 10 km each, these climbs are on wide and well-paved roads, with a number of hairpins in-between. Each is followed by a fast-running descent, with the same features.
At over 22 km, the sharp closing climb eventually becomes a long false-flat up all the way to the finish.
Over the last 4 km, from the centre of Cogne (with a short stretch of flagstone) all the way to the finish, the gradient hovers around 2.5% (kicking up a little just outside Cogne). The home straight is 300 m long, on tarmac road.