Officially a flat stage that takes the race inland from Savona on the coast in Liguria into Piedmont, but it starts with a little over 30 kilometres of mainly steady climbing ahead of the day’s only categorised climb. It’s a rolling profile after that, ahead of a flat and dead straight last 3.5km to the line.
Tactics for this stage are likely to depend on what has happened in the preceding fortnight, and will also be dictated by the fact that tomorrow, the race heads into the high mountains. Teams without GC ambitions by now may look to attack from the off, but with opportunities now thin for those sprinters still left in the race, there’s an extra incentive to chase breaks down. Support from elsewhere may be lacking, though, as others look to conserve their energy for the rigours ahead.
GT: Again it’s a hard start so it will be tough to control and a strong break that goes. With it being short as well, it will be pretty flat out. For us, I’m sure Cav will still be there and with two big mountain days afterwards will be keen to go for that, it could be the last chance. I’m not sure whether he plans to finish the race, but if he did want to stop, it would be after today, I’d have thought, so we’ll really try and go for this one. With it being short, for myself, Ian Stannard, Pete Kennaugh and Bernie Eisel, the next two days will just be about surviving and getting round as comfortably as possible, so this will be the last day we can really race hard and get it out.
For more on this year's race read our full Giro d'Italia Preview.
Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.