Giro d’Italia 2022 – Stage 5 preview
Step 5: Catania to Messina
Date: May 11, 2022
Race times: 11:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. (CEST)
Step Type: Apartment
Second of the two Sicilian stages, stage 5 of the Giro will bring some relief to the peloton after a day of climbing. Picking up where stage 4 left off at the foot of Mount Etna, the stage begins in the city of Catania, a unique city on the east coast. The second-largest city on the island, Catania is home to grand squares, baroque architecture and a UNESCO heritage site.
From Catania, the peloton will head north along the coast of Sicily, before heading inland and tackling the first of two intermediate sprints. A bunch sprint finish is on the cards for the stage, assuming the sprinters can successfully handle the only categorized climb of the day, the second category Portella Mandrazzi. At 19.5 kilometers long and with an average gradient of around 4%, it’s a tough enough test to find out which of the pure sprinters doesn’t have their best legs. However, placed just before the halfway point of the stage and with 30 km of descent to follow, the latecomers should be able to get back into the peloton with some free time.
After the descent, the last 64 kilometers are largely flat and feature another intermediate sprint as the race heads north towards the city of Messina, famous home of the ‘Messina shark’ himself, Vincenzo Nibali . The Astana Qazaqstan runner is unlikely to have a chance to claim victory at home as the almost inevitable peloton sprint will take place instead, with a strong group of fast men including Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) , Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix), Mark Cavendish (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl), Giacomo Nizzolo (Israel-Premier Tech) and Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ).