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Toano to host the first summit finish


No need to wait too long to enjoy the first head-on clash between the pretenders to the final victory of the Giro d’Italia Women. The third stage – from Sabbioneta to Toano, 113 km – features the first uphill finish of the competition. After a pan-flat first part through the Po Valley and the Secchia Valley, the route starts to gently rise after about 70km, culminating in the final cat. 2 asperity of 12.2 km with an average gradient around 4.6 %, easing off a bit in the final part. This is certainly not a climb with impossible gradients, but could it offer an all-rounder a chance go for glory.

Founded in the 16th century by Duke Vespasiano Gonzaga, Sabbioneta is known as one of the best examples of an ideal Renaissance town, designed according to the principles of urban planning and architecture of the time, so much so that it has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Surrounded by walls, its interior is home to several notable buildings, including the Ducal Palace, the duke’s residence, and the Teatro all’Antica, one of the first modern theaters in Europe. The streets are laid out in a grid pattern, reflecting the Renaissance ideal of order and harmony.

Toano is located in the hills between the Secchia Valley and Crinale; it is an important agricultural center for the production of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. The town rises on Mount Castello (944 m.), which culminates in the medieval Pieve di Santa Maria di Castello and is part of the MAB Reserve of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines.

For both Sabbioneta and Toano, this is a first in high-level cycling.

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