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Mellow Velo

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Stage 4: Catania – Villafranca Tirrena 140 km

The 4th stage of the Giro d'Italia is 140 kilometres long. The riders ascend and descend the 20 kilometres long Portella Mandrazzi around the halfway mark, while the last 30 kilometres are flat.
The last stage in Sicily is the shortest of the whole race.



The stage profile could best be described as unusual, with what at first glance looks like a huge lumped right in the middle of mostly flat terrain.



The first part of the route runs along the Mediterranean coast. The route moves through Chianchitta before turning inland at kilometre 38, just before the stunning beautiful town of Taormina.



Slowly but surely the riders approach the only climb of the day, the Portella Mandrazzi. The ascent is 19.5 kilometres long and the average gradient hovers around 4%. The summit is crested at an elevation of 1,125 metres.



The top however is at 65 km to go, with a long descent to come and an even longer flat stretch. The descent is 25 km long, very fast with wide roads. After that, the final 40 km are all flat, with the last 20 directly along the coast.



This should be a good breakaway stage, with the climb right in the middle the sprinters’ teams won’t be able to push on. If the likes of Sagan or Matthews wants the stage win however, some pure sprinter might get into trouble. There is also some chance of wind in the final section of course.
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  • "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.

    t-72

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    4-5 m/second according to my weather service, but from the right direction to make things interesting. So if they are right about the wind direction, and just a little bit off on the windspeed prediction, someone will be caught napping again.

    (on the other hand, it will be really fast so probably not the huge decisive gaps if they just get their act together and ride to minimize losses.)
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