Small but lovely: Rattenberg is Austria's least populous city. Famous as the “Glass Town” thanks to the presence of many craft companies, the Tyrolean city - that will stage the start of the 2018 Tour of the Alps last stage - offers a city center full of architectural beauty, in the typical Inn-Salzach style.
In the setup of the biggest cycling event, the 2018 Cycling Road World Championships and after the iconic finale of the 2017 Tour of the Alps’ opening stage, characterized by the final win of late Michele Scarponi, the “Capital of the Alps” will award the winner of the #TotA18. Crossed by the Inn river, from which the city hails its name, Innsbruck is the 5th biggest city in Austria.
For the final day of the race, the 2018 #Tota sets up a truly intriguing route. The start will be in Rattenberg, the smallest historical city in Austria with its glassmakers’ workshops, following through several towns along the Inn’s valley, on a lumpy terrain that is certain to favor the ambitions of the day’s attackers, at least in their quest to contest the intermediate sprint in Mariastein (km 34). After 56 km, the peloton returns in the nearbies of the start, but after passing Brixlegg, the road starts rising on the Alpbachtal, toward the first categorized climb of the day in Alpbach, "most beautiful floreal village in Europe”, after 64,1 km; 8,3 km at a 6,4% average gradient will make a first selection.
A long and fast descent will bring the race back to the valley floor and to the Tirolerstrasse, in Strass im Zillertall. Fifteen more flat kilometers will lead to another uphill section, short and demanding, ending in Gnadewald after 102,9 km. This ascent represents an exclusive preview of the upcoming Road World Championship. The riders will drop to Hall in Tirol, before climbing back to Aldrans. From km 116,8, the race enters on the final circuit of the 2018 World Championship. A first time up the Igls/Olympiaclimb climb will be followed by a fast descent to the outskirts of Innsbruck and the entrance of the Olympiastrasse. From there (km 127,5) the riders will make two laps of a restricted portion of the rainbow circuit, 13,8 km long. The second time atop the climb (6,7 km at 6%) will award KOM points at km 135,5. The third and last time over the top of the ascent will haven with 12,3 km to go, 6 of which on descent, and the others in the heart of Innsbruck, practically following the World Championship circuit’s itinerary. Those who manage to earn a gap on the climb could actually have a shot of keeping it and get first on the finishing line, located on the Rennweg.