Day 1: Milan to Alice Bel Colle
After a short tour briefing, the teams start from the tour hotel in Milan. First we have to leave the urban area of South Milan before follow a canal for quite a while. Since we are cycling in the Po Valley for almost the entire day, the route (apart from the final ascent) does not have any noteworthy elevations for us. We cross several rivers like the river Ticino and later the Po. Behind the city of Allesandria with its imposing citadel we enter the Asti wine area, where our first stage destination is located. The final ascent of 250 meters to the rustic mountain village of Alice Bel Colle is a first impression of the mountains that await us in the next days.
There is no track 2 today.
Route character: wavy
Day 2: Alice Bel Colle to Genoa
Today we reach the Ligurian coast later the day. First we continue cycling through wineyards, before we start climbing the mountains of the Ligurian Apennines with some sweaty climbs, but also very scenic and small roads. The Ligurian coast comes into sight at Varazze and offers a great opportunity to cool off in the sea with its wide sandy beaches. We are cycling on the flat coast road, where rocky coast sections with small bays alternate with long beaches and can even enjoy cycling on an ancient railroad track. The port city of Genoa, which we (unfortunately) have to cross completely, is the last 'challenge' before we arrive our stage finish.
Track 2 enjoys the mountains a little longer with great panoramas before it meets track 1 near Genoa.
Route character: hilly (Track 1), mountainous (Track 2)
Day 3: Genoa - Pignone
We continue to cycle eastwards along the coast, which now and then has a few small climbs, but always fantastic panoramas for us. The coastal journey ends at Sestri Levante and we turn into the hilly back country. We now have to climb almost 600 meters in altitude, but then going down again to our hotel in the green hills.
After the ascent, track 2 turns down to the sea again and rides a very nice coastal bike path, which was a former railroad track, to Levanto before returning to the hilly hinterland.
Route character: mountainous
Day 4: Pignone to Pistoia
After our detour to the hills we meet the river Vara and follow him to the coast. Here we enter the Tuscany region and we pedal on the coastal road along kilometers of sandy beaches and a last chance to take a bath in the sea. At Pietrasanta we turn away from the coast and at Camaiore we cycle through the green hills to Lucca, which is a good opportunity for a stop. Mostly flat we continue always with the mountains of northern Tuscany in reach, to Pistoia, today's stage destination.
After Camaiore, Track 2 turns even more into the beautiful hills and rejoins the regular route at Lucca.
Route character: hilly (Track 1), very hilly (Track 2)
Day 5: Pistoia - Bologna
The last day again offers a lot of hard work in the saddle. Immediately after leaving the urban area of Pistoia there is a climb of around 700 meters with some very steep sections. We are now in the middle of the Apennines. At Pontepetri we cycle for quite a while in a river valley downstream, before we have to overcome one last mountain at Sasso Marconi and finally reach our tour destination near Bologna.
Track 2 starts with a different route out of Pistoia and has to climb 900 m without warming up. We cycle along the Lago di Suviana reservoir and later both tracks unite and the tour destination is not far.
Route character: mountainous