Stage 3: Biella to Canale
With more than 100 kilometers of racing before any hills are encountered, expect a big breakaway to form.
Start: 6:30 am
Est. Finish: 11:15 am EDT
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Wines and Climbs
From Biella in the foothills of the Alps, this 190-kilometer stage heads due south across the same plain where stage 1 took place. Perhaps this is a stage that Belgian strongman Thomas De Gendt will have on his go-to list, unless his Lotto-Soudal team decides that its Aussie sprinter Ewan will be able to get over the four climbs in the final 70 kilometers.
The home of Asti Spumante sparkling wine, Canelli, kicks off the finale with an intermediate sprint before heading up the race’s first Cat. 3 climb, followed by two Cat. 4s, both of them through the vineyards where the famed Barbera and Barbaresco wines originate. The fourth of the day’s climbs is not categorized, but with a sprint line at the summit of the 3.7-kilometer, 5.5-percent grade, this could be a launch pad for a late move — if none of the early breakaways are still clear. But with 11 kilometers of narrow, rolling roads before the finish in the little town of Canale (population 5,500), a sprint for the stage win is likely to go to Sagan, Nizzolo, Merlier or Sagan — unless a De Gendt break has managed to stay away.