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June 13 update: Given that Stage 2 will likely end in a sprint finish (the big climb is too far from the finish), let's turn to the great scenery along the route. I've driven or cycled this entire stage during two visits to the area. Here are some photos from my last visit in 2008. — Steve

Stage 2 will start on the picturesque north shores of Lake Maggiore, in Ascona

Bring your passport: There is an uncatergorized climb right after leaving Ascona that will see the peloton enter Italy for a brief period

Unlike recreational cyclists, the peloton won't have to deal with the truck traffic during their cat 1 climb over the Simplon Pass, but they may have to deal with big gusts of wind that often funnel through the pass.

The view that riders will have after they reach the top of the Simplon Pass

Looking down on the Stage 2 finish in Sierre from the mountains to the south

(Y! 2010 Edition)