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Cycling Central

12 May 2016 - 11:48 AM  UPDATED 12 May 2016 - 5:21 PM

Giro d'Italia 2016 - Stage 6 by giroditalia 

The first summit finish of the 2016 Giro d'Italia comes at the end of a compact mountain stage. The 157 kilometre stage from Ponte to Roccaraso is far from the hardest test of the race, but it will give an indication to who has the legs to ride with the best on the climbs.

After the first 20km on flat roads, the route starts to climb along easy to mild gradients for almost 40km, including a deceptive false-flat drag before the ascent. The route then descends along roads that are wide, but are in disrepair at points.

From the 75 kilometre mark to the 135 kilometre point, the stage course runs along wide, fast and mostly straight roads, with a number of tunnels in the final stretch. After the Castel di Sangro intermediate sprint, the route takes in the final climb leading to the finish.

The final climb is 17km long, with an average 4.8% gradient. The first part is quite steep, with a short 12% stretch, followed by a deceptive false-flat drag across the centre of Roccaraso. Seven kilometres before the finish, the route starts to climb again with variable slopes ranging from 4% to 7%. The final kilometre has a 7% gradient. The home stretch is 120m long, on a 6m wide asphalt road.

The stage will suit the punchier riders amongst the best climbers, or perhaps an opportunist who can take advantage of the favourites marking each other to jump clear and take the win. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) will be the favourite if a group comes into the line together, but Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) also has the speed to match it with the veteran Spaniard.

The Giro Tracker App will be live with video from 10.30 pm, with the SBS/HD broadcast starting at 11.40 pm. All times AEST.

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