Running from Monticiano (Tuscany) to Gualdo Tadino (Umbria), stage three resembles a lengthy siege of 189 kilometres.
Starting on rolling terrain along the hills south of Siena, the route picks its way towards the Adriatic coast, eastbound, tackling the only categorised climb in Poggio della Croce, near Lake Trasimeno.
Shortly after the descent, the course enters the province of Perugia and heads towards Gualdo Tadino, nestled at the foot of the mighty Apennines.
Back in 552 A.D., the battle of Taginae was fought in Gualdo. Here, the Byzantine Empire defeated the Ostrogoths, eventually putting an end to their rule over Italy.
This stage is unlikely to be a battle for GC, but the teams may already start planning their attacks in view of the next stage – the pivotal day of this Tirreno-Adriatico, when the peloton will be tackling the Apennines, with the odds-on favourites at the front.