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 UCI 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 and determining day of the race, the Tour of the Alps sets up a truly intriguing route. The start will be given in Rattenberg, the smallest historical city in Austria. After passing through the middle age city centre with its glassmakers’ workshops, the race starts on Tirolestrasse, north-eastbound. In this passage there aren’t any tough climb, yet a continuous series of up-and-downs until the intermediate sprint in Mariastein (km 33,6). Back to south-west, after 56 km the peloton returns in the nearby of the start, but after passing Brixlegg, the road starts rising on the Alpbachtal, toward the first categorized climb of the day in Alpbach, “the most beautiful floreal village in Europe”, after 64,1 km; 7,4 km at a 7,1% average gradient will make a first group selection.
A long and fast descent, through the residential area of Reith I'm Alpbachertal, will bring the race back to the valley floor and to the Tirolerstrasse in Brixlegg where the aid area starts. 15 flat kilometers will lead to a new uphill section, short and demanding, ending in Gnadewald (Km 105,3). This ascent represents an exclusive preview of the upcoming Road World Championship.
A new downhill will lead the peroton to Hall in Tirol, before immediately climbing to Aldrans and the circuit which will host the golden race next September. 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 130,3) the riders will make two laps of a restricted portion of the rainbow circuit, 13,8 km long. The second time atop the climb (7,8 km at 5,5%) will award KoM points at km 138,1. 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.