Day four is a substantially more difficult stage, with no less than eight climbs on the 153km between Listowel and Glengarriff.
The first of those, Lacka West, comes just 7.9km after the start, and the category two climb will shake up the bunch and could provoke early splits.
After that the riders head on to the Crinny climb (category three at 28.3km), Castleisland, the category three ascent of Farranfore (47.3km) and then pass through Killarney.
From there the peloton will be shaken up by a succession of mountains, starting with the category two trio of Ladies View (82.4km), Molls Gap (87.3km) and Garranes (117.1km), then the energy-sapping Healy Pass, which comes 127km after the start and marks the first category one climb of this year’s race.
That is certain to rupture the main bunch and scatter riders going over the summit, but with 25km remaining from there until the line, and only the category three Cooleriagh (145.3km) interrupting a fast run-in to the finish, some of those gaps could tighten up.
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