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It looks set to be a classic battle between the sprinters and the puncheurs as the peloton leaves the mountains behind for the moment.
18 May 2016 - 12:02 PM 

The 227 kilometre stage from Modena to Asolo flows flat into Asolo, before taking a loop around some hillier roads and finishing in the city. The route runs across the entire Po Plain, partly on narrow roads and partly on wide, straight highways. Riders will need to keep their eyes out for roundabouts, kerbs, speed bumps and traffic dividers through urban areas. Just past the town Maser, the road tackles a short yet very harsh climb up Forcella Mostaccin, with gradients topping out at 16%. A technical descent follows, leading to the Monfumo hills and to Castelcucco. Here, a series of undulations will lead to the final Asolo climb.

Five kilometres before the finish, the road climbs up towards Asolo along a cobbled one kilometre ramp with gradients of approximately seven per cent that leads into the old town centre through a medieval gateway. The road then descends into the final kilometre which is flat. The last bend is 900 metres from the finish line, followed by a long home straight, just bending slightly to the finish line.

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) will come into this stage with fond memories as he took the stage win the last time the race finished in Asolo. He is less likely to win here with the stage appearing to favour the puncheurs and riders like Enrico Battaglin (Bardiani-CSF), Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida), Nicholas Roche (Sky) and Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal).