So far, we have learned that this Giro is far from predictable. Stage 18 is one of those stages that about the only "safe" prediction that can be made is it's not going to be a sprinter first across the line!
The riders will tackle 170kms from Melide to Verbania, starting in Switzerland before returning to Italy.
The first 100kms are relatively “tame” with the intermediate sprint falling in Stresa at 79kms. The feed zone in Feriolo will allow the riders to get amped back up for the next sprint on the top of an uncategorized climb in Bieno.
Things get really tough on the cat-1 Monte Ologno at 134kms. This steep monster is 10.4kms long with an average gradient of 9%, reaching 13% at some places! A very tricky descent, including several additional climbs along the way, will befall the riders before the conclusion in Verbania. I could see one or two men from the early break away desperately holding on, but this would be a good chance for a GC man to put in some time over his rivals as well.