The Dolomites and their 3 Zinnen/Tre Cime di Lavaredo shine in Pustertal/Val Pusteria, and are the favorite destination of many mountain climbers since the second half of 19th century. Thanks to its healthy climate, Niederdorf/Villabassa was summer residence of many personalities over the years, and today it’s the first Kneipp für mich® outdoor Spa adventure village in Italy.
In the heart of Hohe Tauern National Park, Kals am Grossglockner enjoys a wonderful location at the foot of the 3,798-metre-high Grossglockner peak (the highest in Austria) and it’s surrounded by many more 3,000-metre-high mountains. That makes it such a popular base for rock climbers and mountaineers.
The 4th stage of the Tour of the Alps starts on flattish terrain. After Toblach/Dobbiaco, the road descends towards Innichen/San Candido and the Italian/Austrian state border. After crossing Sillian, the route turns towards the KOM of Kartischer Sattel, where athletes enter the Gaital and leave Tirol to enter Carinthia and the Gail river valley, up to the town of Kötschach.
From there, the riders take in the second KOM on the day, on the gentle ramps of the Gailberg Sattel. The race returns to Lienz and Tirol, leading to the hills surrounding the town and the intermediate sprint near the Zettersfeld cable car station.
The 12,5 Km-ascent to Kals am Groβglockner represents the final showdown of the day: the first 3 km are the most demanding, at a 9% average gradient; then a 4km-flat section takes over, followed by another 3 km at around 6%, while the last 2,5 km to the finish line are mostly on false-flat terrain.