Giro d'Italia 2020: Stage 5 preview

Stage 5: Mileto to Camigliatello Silano

Date: October 7, 2020 

Distance: 225km 

Stage start: 10:25am CEST

Stage type: Mountain

Pinballing from one side of Italy’s foot to the other and back again, this is the third-longest stage of the race and appears tailor-made for breakaway specialists. Stage 5 could provide a shake-up among the general classification contenders due to the difficulty of the first-category Valico di Montescuro climb, from the summit of which the riders will plunge into the finish.

From the start in Mileto, the stage bumps its way across Calabria to reach the Ionian coast at Catanzaro Lido, where the first of the day’s two intermediate sprints takes place. Having reached the sea, the route almost immediately turns away from it, crossing two third-category climbs as it negotiates much more rugged terrain heading northwards.

After 70 kilometres of undulating roads across the mountainous plateau of the Sila region, the route reaches the city of Cosenza, location of the second intermediate sprint and also the launch-pad for the Valico di Montescuro, scene of a legendary duel between Eddy Merckx and José Manuel Fuente in the 1972 Giro, “the Cannibal” matching the great Spanish climber on this ascent then dropping him on the descent, where Fuente twice lost control.

Extending to 24.2km and averaging 5.6 per cent, the road climbs through a string of villages and enters thick woodland. Resurfaced recently, its steepest section is a short stinger of a ramp at 18 per cent gradient that lies just before the halfway point. Above this point, the slope remains quite consistent, its difficulty stemming more from its length, which is likely to result in the GC group being whittled down significantly.

From the summit, the road drops for close to a dozen kilometres into the finish. The first part of this downhill into Moccone is steep, but the slope eases off considerably below this village to the 1km kite, from which there’s a gentle rise to the line.

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Cyclingnews is the world's leader in English-language coverage of professional cycling. Started in 1995 by University of Newcastle professor Bill Mitchell, the site was one of the first to provide breaking news and results over the internet in English. The site was purchased by Knapp Communications in 1999, and owner Gerard Knapp built it into the definitive voice of pro cycling. Since then, major publishing house Future PLC has owned the site and expanded it to include top features, news, results, photos and tech reporting. The site continues to be the most comprehensive and authoritative English voice in professional cycling.

Latest on Cyclingnews