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After three days in and around Turin, the Giro finally leaves Piedmont, first transferring to start the stage in the walled city of Piacenza in the Po Valley before heading southeast on flat roads to enter the Apennine foothills of Emilia-Romagna. The final 100 kilometers will be played out on serpentine back roads that are constantly rising or falling. After two Cat. 3 climbs and an uncategorized ascent to Montecreto, inside 20 kilometers to go, a fast descent takes the race to the Fanano intermediate sprint at the foot of a 4.3 kilometers, 10-percent Cat. 2 climb that summits just 2.5 kilometers from the finish.
It’s a finale that would favor a puncheur like Julian Alaphilippe, but he’s not riding; so, expect some of the GC riders to battle it out in Séstola, a town of 2,500 people that saw a solo stage win five years ago by Italian climber Giulio Ciccone, who’s now co-leader of Trek-Segafredo with Vincenzo Nibali. Perhaps one of these two will be on the stage 4 podium, while riders such as Almeida, George Bennett of Jumbo-Visma and Pavel Sivakov of INEOS Grenadiers also have the skills needed to take the win.