A day of short and sharp climbs should offer us a look at the typical classics styled riders as they battle it out for stage honours on the fourth day’s run from Montalto di Castro to Foligno. The day’s 222km distance looks set to severely thin the bunch ahead of the finale, promising to deliver an elite bunch of riders who have survived the attrition rate in order to battle it out for the win. The finale itself is a simple enough run into the finishing straight, but it is the preceding trio of potent climbs which possess gradients of almost 20% which look set to decide the victor here today.
Peter Sagan has what it takes to survive this type of terrain at the front of affairs and still turn in a strong enough sprint to take the win; a victory which would be his first in the rainbow stripes of the World Champion’s jersey. Fernando Gaviria silenced any suggestions that he may be fatigued after arriving here off the back of a testing Track World Championships by winning yesterday’s stage in convincing fashion. The young Colombian has a phenomenal turn of speed, but it is instead his ability to climb which circles him as a contender here and his current form only cements this possibility further still. Edvald Boasson Hagen could feature well here, but there are strong suggestions that the roadbook does the climbs here little justice in regards to severity, potentially proving too tough for the in-form Norwegian to stay in touch and contest the sprint. A man likely to allow Sagan and Tinkoff to do all the work is Greg Van Avermaet, the Belgian rider taking confidence from his recent sprint showings against the World Champion into the stage, though he will have to be in great shape to survive these late ascents. Those who could cause a stir in a sprint or even breakaway include Leigh Howard, Nikia Arndt, Giovanni Visconti and Luka Mezgec.
1st Peter Sagan 2nd Nikia Arndt 3rd Fernando Gaviria