Five days of climbers-friendly racing are close to be spent on the Alps at the 2018 Tour of the Alps. The race held between Italy and Austria, which name was Giro del Trentino until 2015, used to take place on the roads of Trentino region but has extended its competence to Tirol and Sudtirol. Scheduled from Monday the 16 to Friday the 20, April, will be the event on which 2018 Giro d’Italia contenders like Chris Froome, Fabio Aru, Thibaut Pinot, Miguel Angel Lopez and Domenico Pozzovivo – to name a few – will go on stage to test the shape with a view to the Corsa Rosa. Five are the stages planned for the 2018 edition for a total of 617 kilometers.
Don’t miss the 2018 Tour of the Alps Startlist here.
Stage 1 leads to Folgaria from Arco across 134,6 kilometers of racing. The route features two climbs: the first comes after 50 kilometers from the start and it is the long as not as demanding ascent to Valico di Andalo. Once the riders will hit Rovereto the road starts going up again: Serrada KOM (19 km, 5,6% average gradient), which is presumably the decisive one, comes with just over 6 kilometers remaining. The climb is not a hard one so a bunch of riders are likely to fight for the success.
On day two of racing it is scheduled the queen stage of the competition. The route runs from Lavarone to Alpe di Pampeago and measures 145,5 km. The course is quite hilly and the only effort on the way to Fiemme valley – the bottom of the final ascent – is Passo del Redebus climb (16 km, 6,1% average gradient) with 99 kilometers to go. By the way the finale is very demanding: the uphill finish in Alpe di Pampeago features nasty slopes on the last 4 kilometers to the top and the average gradient of the whole climb is almost up to 10%.
Stage 3 is quite difficult to interpret. On day three the peloton is engaging a short – 138,3 kilometers – but tricky course which is for the first half mostly flat whereas with over 64 kilometers remaining occurs the turning point. Passo della Mendola (14 km, 6,4% average) and slightly slant Passo Palade (13 km, 4,1% average) come in a row but from the top of the latter to the finish line are still left 26 kilometers. On the finish line of Merano the break might have its chance.
In the finale of stage 4 the race gets into Austrian territory. On day four of racing the route runs from Chiusa to Lienz across 134,3 hilly kilometers. What differs stage 4 from the previous one is the point on which it is situated the last ascent of the day. The top of Bannberg climb (7 km, 6,7% average) is just 10 kilometers to the finish line and it’s double digit ascent on the first two kilometers of climbing. A technical descent heads the pretenders to the final four flat kilometers to Lienz.
Day five of racing is the day of truth. Stage five‘s finale is quite demaiding and a number of four climbs come in succession making the last stages of racing very interesting. The route amounts to 164,2 km and runs from Rattenberg to Innsbruck. Tirol’s capital is the seat where the 2018 World Championships will take place and there is no better occasion than the Tour of the Alps to test the climb that will characterise the Worlds road race course in September. The race hits for three times Olympia climb (7,8 km, 5,5% average gradient) before hitting six flat kilometers that lead to Innsbruck.