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Stage 6 will feature lots of up and down over the narrow, foothill roads of the Apennines in central Italy

May 9 update: Enough of the flat stuff. With Stage 6, we get down to business Giro style with the first of three medium mountain stages.

Most of this stage features a continuous uphill and downhill roller coaster ride southeast through the Macerata and Fermano Apennine valleys with short, sharp ascents followed by technical descents. The route has four GPMs (Cingoli: cat 4 746 m – km 95.4; Passo della Cappella: cat 2 772m – km 118; Montelupone: cat 3 251m – km 154.7; Montegranaro: cat 3 241m – km 176.5) with the cat 2 Passo della Cappella having 4 km of dirt with steep sections.

After the crossing of Trodica di Morrovalle, the race faces the narrow Montegranaro wall with a maximum 18% gradient and 35 km still to go. There's a broad and fast descent of Casette d’Ete before the Santa Lucia ascent (max 15%) and the loop back to the Adriatica State Road via another technical descent. The only level road on this stage is the flat, wide finish in Porto Sant’Elpidio on the Adriatic coast. Expect a small bunch sprint or a solo attack from an escape to decide this leg-zapping, classic-like stage.

By his own admission, race leader Ramunas Navardauskas isn't much of a climber so the Pink Jersey will likely pass to his Garmin-Barracuda teammate and GC contender, Ryder Hesjedal, who is just 11 seconds off the lead. — Steve