With the bunch nervy and lots of road furniture to contend with, this stage of regular twists and turns may not prove as straightforward as the pan-flat profile suggests. Surprisingly, the stage features the first two categorised climbs even though the highest point is only 60 metres above sea level.
The winner of the mountains jersey today will hold it until at least stage five, which will be a big carrot for the Dutch outfits and smaller teams, who'll be desperate to feature in the podium presentations. Expect frenetic sprints on both climbs, and for things to get even more frantic at the finish.
Procycling's favourite to win:
Oscar Freire has never ridden the Giro before, preferring to build towards the Tour de France via smaller stage races such as the Tour of Catalonia. But Rabobank want him battling for stage wins on their home ground and the Spaniard believes the radical change to his race programme will benefit him by adding a fresh challenge to his season.
Vertical climb: 370m
Highest point: 60m
Category: Road Stage