For the first time after three years, Südtirol is set to host the start of the 2020 edition: Brixen/Bressanone will welcome the field on Sunday April 19th for the preliminary operations and the teams presentation in the beautiful Piazza Duomo, from where the race will start on Monday April 20th with stage 1, finishing in Innsbruck after 142,8 km. After a challenging start and the climb to the Brennerpass/Passo del Brennero, a lomng descent will lead the riders to the final circuit in Innsbruck, to be covered twice, characterized by the Axams climb that the riders faced in the individual time trial of the 2018 World Championships.
An all-Tyrolean 2nd stage on Tuesday April 21st will take the riders from Innsbruck to Feichten im Kaunertal after 121,5 km and a 2.640 mt elevation gain, most of it concentrated in the second half oft he stage. After 50 km on flat, the Arzl im Pitztal and Piller Sattel (twice) climbs await the riders before a tough finale towards Feichen, with gradients over 12% in the stint between 6 and 3 kilometers to go.
The Tour of the Alps returns to Südtirol for the finish of stage 3 (Wednesday April 22nd) in Naturns/Naturno, after the start in Imst, Tyrol, just west of Innsbruck, for an overall distance of 163,9 km. After the ascent to the Reisenpass/Passo Resia, and the tough and tiny roads through the Vintschgau Valley/Val Venosta toward Frinig, the Tarsch/Tarres climb (with 18 km to go) will shape a very open stage finale.
Stage 4 on Thursday April 23rd will be the longest of this edition (168,6 km) and features the greatest elevation gain (3380 mt), one of the highest ever recorded in the four Tour of the Alps years: Naturns/Naturno – Valle del Chiese/Pieve di Bono. Right after the start, the peloton will rise to the 1706 mt of the Passo Castrin tunnel, the highest point of the 2020 Tour of the Alps. After that, the riders will pass through Val di Non and Val di Sole, on the way to the Kaiser Karl der Große Pass/ Passo Campo Carlo Magno climb. As the race reaches the Tione nearbies, the Selle Giudicarie ascent will add to the day’s difficulties: with much climbing already in the legs, the top GC contenders will make their move on the Castel Condino ascent toward Boniprati: 10 km of way up, ending with 7 km to go to Pieve di Bono.
The mileage (120,9 km) of the fifth and final stage of Friday April 24th, Valle del Chiese/Idroland – Riva del Garda, might be misleading, as a series of short and hard climbs to sum on the efforts of the previous day. The Selle Giudicarie climb will open the menu before the double punch Passo Duron and Passo del Ballino, and then the descent leading to Riva for the first time. The last 40 km of the Tour of the Alps will take place over two laps of a circuit characterized by the Pranzo climb, peaking with 12 km to the finish in Piazza Battisti, in front of the Medieval Fortress of Riva.
Five stages, 13.000 mt elevation gain
Here is the 2020 Tour of the Alps: 10 categorized climbs over 717,7 km, with an elevation gain nearing 13.000 mt.
Monday April 20th: Brixen/Bressanone – Innsbruck, 142,8 Km
Elevation gain: 1950 m. Difficulty: **
Tuesday April 21st: Innsbruck – Feichten im Kaunertal, 121,5 Km
Elevation gain: 2640 m. Difficulty: ***
Wednesday April 22nd: Imst – Naturns/Naturno, 163,9 Km
Elevation gain: 2290 m. Difficulty: ***
Thursday April 23rd: Naturns/Naturno – Valle del Chiese/Pieve di Bono, 168,6 Km
Elevation gain: 3880 m. Difficulty: ****
Friday April 24th: Valle del Chiese/Idroland – Riva del Garda, 120,9 Km
Elevation gain: 2230 m. Difficulty: ***