The stage is clearly divided into two parts: flat and straight along the Via Emilia, all the way to Parma, wavy and technical afterwards. Past Parma, the route takes in a brace of ascents (including two categorised climb), with gradients exceeding 10% at points, on relatively narrow roads. Past Montecreto and Fanano, the route takes in the Colle Passerino climb, which ends at 1.5 miles out.
The last 4 miles are very demanding. Starting in Fanano, the Colle Passerino climb runs on narrowed roadway, with gradients exceeding 10% over extended stretches, and lengthy peaks topping out at 13-14%. At the 1.5 mile mark, the road descends for approx. 800 meters and then rises again with easy gradients. The route runs on cobble-like setts from 750m to 250m-to-go, while the finish sits on tarmac.