Located by the Isarco river, in Südtirol, Chiusa/Klausen has been a custom city for much of its history. The area is dominated by the Sabiona monastery, an ancient bishopric site on a hill, and a traditional pilgrimage destination for all the Tyrol.
Main city of the East Tyrol, Lienz is located among the valleys of Drautal, Val Pusteria and Isertal. Characterized by mild weather, the “sun city” offers many different alternatives for culture and shopping, attracting many tourists. In two occasions, the Austrian city hosted the Giro del Trentino start, in 1999 and 2013.
Tour of the Alps’ stage 4 gets off from Klausen/Chiusa. After a short neutralized transfer from the city center of the Valle d’Isarco’s town, the peloton will move northbound along the SS12. After 11 km on flat, passing through Brixen/Bressanone, the peloton will face a first, gently uphill section. Once Schabs/Sciaves is left behind and the peloton takes the SS 49 road in Val Pusteria, the road returns flat until Niedervintl/Vandoies. There begins the first categorized climb of the day taking all the way up to Terento (32,6 km) after 6 km uphill at a 7,7% average gradient.
After the KoM, the race will pass through the plateau that has its main center in Pfalzen/Falzes. Another short descent leads to Bruneck/Brunico, just to tackle another mild but constant ascent along the Rienza river. After 62,6 Km along the SS 49 road in Val Pusteria the aid fixed station is placed near Lago di Vadaora while the day’s intermediate sprint is placed at km 76,6 in Toblach/Dobbiaco. The peloton will wind by the beautiful Innechen/San Candido on the way to the Italian-Austrian border, that will be passed after 88,9 km. After reaching Austria, the riders will proceed on the B100 road, parallel to the famous cycle path leading from Toblach/Dobbiaco to Lienz on a slight and pleasurable descent. Anyway, the Tour of the Alps riders have a different fate in store for the final. First, they will tackle the Anras climb, with its 4 km at a 7% average gradient, with some steep sections peaking over 10%. After the descent and a short stint through the valley floor, in Thal-Aue another left turn will lead to the second categorized climb of the day, the Bannberg, where Marco Pantani and Michele Bartoli during the 13rd stage at the 1994 Giro d’Italia. 6,9 km at a 6,7% average gradient will be the final springboard towards Lienz, and arguably the decisive moment of the stage.
The ascent is likely to make a selection among the contenders, but there will still be the very fast and technical way down to take the riders back to the main road, with just 4,2 km to ride the homestretch to the beautiful central square of Lienz, Hauptplatz, where the stage winner will be celebrated.