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Lots of ups and downs between Imola and Urbino, and the climb to San Marino


If you happen to be passing near Imola, this is a town worth stopping for a few hours. Known for its famous racetrack, the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo and Dino Ferrari, Imola is an important venue for car races, including Formula 1. It also boasts a charming center rich in history and culture, with medieval and Renaissance buildings such as the Rocca Sforzesca, a majestic 14th-century fortress. Imola also marks the entrance to Romagna, which means a historical-cultural tour can only be accompanied by an equally exciting tasting itinerary, discovering typical local products such as cappelletti, garganelli, tagliatelle, friggione, piadina, ciambella, ravioli and the excellent wines of the ‘Colli d’Imola’ production.

The fourth stage starts from right here and follows the Via Emilia in its long, flat ride to Savignano sul Rubicone, where it gradually enters the Romagna Apennines. The peloton will cross the Republic of San Marino where a cat. 2 KOM is placed (5.4 km at 6.9%, with the last 2 km at 9%), followed by Monte Altavello (3.4 km at 7.4%) and Monte Osteriaccia (3.1 km at 6.3%) with 25 km to go. The last 14 km are slightly and steadily uphill until the finish in Urbino, where a reduced group of riders or even a breakaway could hold off the peloton. The stage measures 134 km in all.

The finale in Urbino will be nothing short of spectacular: founded in Roman times, the town reached its peak during the Renaissance under the duchy of Federico da Montefeltro. The historic center of Urbino has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its outstanding Renaissance architecture. One of its most iconic landmarks is the Ducal Palace, a Renaissance masterpiece that today houses the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, displaying works by artists such as Piero della Francesca and Raphael, who was actually born in Urbino. The city is also home to one of the oldest universities in Europe, the University of Urbino, founded in 1506. For food lovers, Urbino offers its crescia sfogliata and casciotta DOP, not to mention the delicious truffle.

Imola has been a major protagonist in recent cycling mainly thanks to its Autodromo, first and foremost by hosting the 2020 World Championships on very short notice, as well as the Italian Championships in 2021 and 2009. The Giro d’Italia’s last visits to Imola date back to 2015, with Ilnur Zakarin taking stage win, and 2018, with victory for Sam Bennett. The Giro Next Gen also came here in 2017 and 2021. There is also a precedent for the Giro d’Italia Women, it was 1998 and stage winner was Italian Luisiana Pegoraro.

Urbino has also welcomed the Giro d’Italia more than a few times, most recently in 2008 with a time trial won by Marzio Bruseghin, while in 2012 the town served as the starting location for the stage finishing in Porto Sant’Elpidio. In 2010 and 2020, the Giro Next Gen chose Urbino as a town of arrival.


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