In Alta Val Pusteria, just as little inside the Italian border, Villabassa strongly feels the German-speaking area’s influence in terms of culture and language. Characterized by a strong touristic vocation, Villabassa stages the start of the hardest fraction of the Tour of the Alps.
The Valle di Funes, and the town of San Pietro, at the foot of the Odle, wait for the Tour of the Alps’ favorites, who will have to come to the fore on the way to the stage 3 finish. An elected land for cycling lovers, the area has been touched several times by the Giro d’Italia route.
From downtown Villabassa, the race crosses the Val Pusteria/Pustertal once again to reach Brunico, and from there through the Val Badia on the way to San Martino in Badia. There starts the 15-km ascent to the Passo delle Erbe, the first categorized climb of the day. A 20-km descent will follow: the first section is very narrow and technique, then leaving way to a faster stretch on the road to Sant’Andrea.
A false flat section will bring the peloton to the intermediate sprint in Luson. There starts an unprecedented ascent in cycling: the 12 km climb – with maximum gradient of almost 20% - to the Alpe di Rodengo, second KOM of the day. A technical descent will lead to Rio Pusteria, then the road keeps going down through Bressanone to Chiusa, where the 9 km climb to the finish in Funes will start. By the end of the stage, the name of the final GC contenders will certainly be clear.