Thursday, August 6, 2009

Giro di Lombardia

Yesterday we mentioned the Gran Fondo Giro di Lombardia on October 18th. The Giro di Lombardia pro race, one of the five "monuments" of the one day classics, will take place on the previous day, October 17th. A nice weekend: visit the Madonna del Ghisallo and museum on the 16th, watch the pros race on the 17th, race in the gran fondo on the 18th (ed. note: the granfondo has been cancelled) and stop by and visit George on Lake Como on the 19th.

The Giro di Lombardia is also known as the "Race of the Falling Leaves" as it is normally held in October. Originally called the Milano-Milano when it was first held in 1905, it became the Giro di Lombardia in 1907. This year will be the 103rd edition of the race.

The race travels towards Como after leaving Varese. It passes through Como and heads up the western shores of the lake for the first climb – Intelvi. The next obstacle comes on the eastern shores of Lago di Como with the climb out Bellano and into Valsassina. The race kicks into top gear with the descent into Lecco and the snake-like path back along the lake towards Bellagio. The riders leave the homes of the rich and famous and climb towards the cyclists' sanctuary – the Madonna del Ghisallo. It tops out with 44.3 kilometres remaining. There are two final smaller climbs on the roads back to Como– Civiglio at 15.7 kilometres to go and San Fermo della Battaglia at 5.7 kilometres – before the finish on Como's Lungo Lario Trento for a total of 242 Kms.

Photo: event poster; the Gran Fondo Giro di Lombarida passing the Madonna del Ghisallo on the same roads the pros race the day before

The Madonna del Ghisallo and museum is a "must" visit. Search in this journal for "Madonna" and you'll find several stories with many photos.

Stories, including cycling trip stories, for the Italian Cycling Journal welcome; contact veronaman@gmail

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