Running 43:00  6.0 km (7:10 / km) +360m 5:31 / km
Sunset leg stretch after a day of travelling, otherwise known as the prologue to what is sure to be an exciting GC battle for the annual Tour de Dolomites. Three favourites in contention for this highly prestigious race. The experienced Elkington and Wright return for their second tours whilst the much hyped youngster from Derbados, Christallo Owens makes his professional debut. He oozes youthful exuberance and has been likened to a fully grown cheetah when in full flight.
Christallo set the early pace up the lower slopes of the Col de Refuge ski path. Perhaps over confidently, perhaps just testing out his rivals. The pre-race favourite Elko Elkington complained of problems in the lung area and so the pace was upped. As the light faded over the peloton, the pack rebunched for the final showdown to the refuge. Christallo valiantly dug in but was distanced on the final straight as the gradient steepened.
The GC contenders turned for the descent where Christallo closed in. As the racers entered the forest they realised that seeing the ground was practically impossible. Hands were held, the pace slackened, and the stage ended with the racers together. A real taster of the standard of racing that awaits the fans over the following week.