The 2022 Tour of the Alps will again be packed with mountains from the Trentino, Südtirol and Tirol regions of northern Italy and Austria, with the five stages between April 18-22 including 13,750 metres of elevation gain across 719km of racing.
The race starts in Cles, amongst the Melinda apple orchards where the 2021 edition ended, and concludes in Lienz in Austria.
Race director Maurizio Evangelista revealed that at least half of the 22 teams will be from the WorldTour. Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange) beat Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious) and Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech) in 2021, with the five days in the mountains again proving ideal final racing before the Giro d’Italia in May.
The opening stage of the 2022 Tour of the Alps is the longest at 159km, with distances kept short to inspire aggressive racing and allow riders to recover between stages. Four stages finish and then start in the same place to reduce transfers and offset race emissions. The organisers are also working on extra safety initiatives that will be presented in January.
The five stages climb deep into the Dolomites and then across into Austria, none exceeding 2,000 metres to avoid the risk of early-spring weather. The final two hours of each stage will be broadcast live.
Stage 1 rolls down the Val di Sole away from Cles and crosses the Trentino region to finish Primiero/San Martino di Castrozza in the shadow of the spectacular Pale di San Martino mountain. The 159km stage climbs the little known but still testing Passo Brocon and Passo Gobbera climbs before a rising slope to the finish.
Stage 2 climbs the Passo Rolle - the highest pass of this year’s race - as it leaves San Martino di Castrozza and heads into South Tyrol via Cavalese. The 153km stage then heads west to the Passo della Mendola and the Passo delle Palade before a fast finale on a loop around Lana.
Stage 3 will be held entirely in South Tyrol between Lana and Villabassa. The peloton will cross through Bolzano and the Val Pusteria and then climb the category 1 Passo Furcia up to 1,798m before a testing descent and push to the finish in Villabassa. The steep side of the 7.9km Passo Furcia and the final four kilometres at 10 per cent make it the Queen stage of the 2022 Tour of the Alps.
Stage 4 heads into Austria over 142km with the short but steep climbs of Kartitscher Sattel and Gailberg Sattel. There are two other short climbs near Lienz before the 12.5km climb up the valley to the foot of the Groβglockner. The highest mountain in Austria tops out at 3,798m but the stage ends in Kals am Groβglockner at 1,336m after several changes in gradient.
Stage 5 loops around Lienz with several nasty climbs from the valley roads. The final stage is short at 116km but ascends the Bannberg twice, and the steep Stronach climb ends just 10km from the finish in Lienz.
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