In the Südtirol, on the Adige left riverbank, Ora/Auer offers beautiful architectural buildings, like the sixteenth century manor house “Happacherhof” and the historical church of St. Peter, characterized by a late Renaissance organ belonged to musician Hans Schwarzenbach.
Merano/Meran is the second largest city of Südtirol, on the border between Val Venosta, Val Passiria, Val d’Adige and Val d’Ultimo, entirely surrounded by the mountains. Famous for the quality of its Spa waters, and popular summer touristic destination, the city enjoys a mild climate thanks to its geographical location.
Auer/Ora hosts the start of Tour of the Alps stage 3. The early kilometres will be flat, through the famous apple orchards and vineyards of the Adige’s Valley. After passing through Tramin/Termeno, the home of the famous Traminer wines, things get serious on the Weinstrasse/Strada del Vino, first towards Kaltern/Caldaro and then, following the Vie Europa/Europastraße, to the climb known as “Mendolina”: a 4,5 km long ascent, with a 6% average gradient, peaking at 10%. After the hill, the peloton will go down to Eppan/Appiano, and then will reach Bozen/Bolzano through wide and flowing roads.
After 43,5 km, in Leifers/Laives, the riders will contest the day’s intermediate sprint. After 54,5 km, the long starting loop will get to a close, as the peloton will return to Auer/Ora. From there, the race turns left for a 3,8 km ascent to Montan/Montagna on the SS 48, followed by the fast way down to Neumarkt/Egna. Once again, the race returns on its itinerary through the Weinstraße/Strada del Vino and back to the Mendolina climb, but this time the riders will keep on rising up the tough Mendel Pass/Passo della Mendola, where a Cat. 1 KOM will be placed after a 18 km ascent, with a 1.100 mt altitude difference. A fast and insidious descent will take the peloton to Fondo, where the road will point upwards again – though with unimpressive gradients – to the Gampen Pass/Passo Palade. From the top of the categorized climb to the finish in Meran/Merano there will be 26,3 km, most of those to be covered on a fast and technical descent to Lana. The last 7 km are mostly flat: the riders will enter the finish city, passing by the famous hippodrome before getting in the city center. Indeed, the finish line will be placed in downtown Meran/Merano, in Rennweg/Via delle Corse, where a group of attackers could sprint for the opportunity to bag a prestigious stage win.