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Il Lombardia gets even harder this year

The final monument of the season, Italy’s Il Lombardia will add even more tough climbs to its already hilly 240km course that winds around the foothills of Como and Bergamo, where the race starts and finishes, respectively.

Race organizer RCS Sport has added two new climbs for 2016: Sant’Antonio Abbandonato, followed by Miragolo San Salvatore. The first begins after 176.1km of racing and runs 6.5km, with an 8.9 percent average gradient and a max of 15 percent. About nine kilometers after that summit, the peloton faces its second unknown challenge, which is longer at 8.7km and not as steep, averaging seven percent.

Those two fresh climbs come right before the day’s final challenge, a climb of Selvino, which was not included in last year’s edition, but looks similar to the Civiglio climb where Vincenzo Nibali made his race-winning move. However, Selvino is not as steep as the Civiglio, averaging a modest 5.4 percent over 6.9km.

In total, the race will feature 4,400 meters of climbing — 900 meters more than the 2015 edition.

Although the race features two new climbs, it will also have one very familiar face on the start line: Katusha’s Joaquim Rodríguez announced Wednesday that he will return to the race he won in 2012 and 2013 for one final run before his retirement.

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