The Giro last went into Puglia in 2008 when Giovanni Visconti, now leader at ISD-Neri, took the maglia rosa on a similarly long stage into Peschici. But that finish suited climbers more than this one, where strong rouleurs should be prominent, especially if it's road-meltingly hot. They will want to get into a group that has a decent advantage once the bumps of Italy's spine are behind them, consequently giving them a good chance of success as the road drops down towards the coast.
Procycling's favourite to win:
After two disastrous seasons, Milram have been more combative this year. Their hopes largely rest on the fitness of Gerald Ciolek, who's coming back from early-season injury. But we've also been impressed with Dutchman Niki Terpstra (right), who might spring a surprise.
"We're heading into Puglia, where Giovanni Visconti took the pink jersey in Peschici two years ago. This stage takes us almost across the sole of Italy's boot, finishing among the olive groves that surround Bitonto. The stage ends with a circuit and, no doubt, plenty of adrenalin for the sprinters."
Vertical climb: 2,260m
Highest point: 687m
Category: Road Stage