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Giro d'Italia 2020: Stage 5 preview

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2020 Giro d'Italia stage 5

stage 5 profile (Image credit: RCS Sport)
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2020 Giro d'Italia stage 5 maap

stage 5 map (Image credit: RCS Sport)

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.

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