A new route for this year’s Giro di Lombardia, which organizer RCS Sport announced today, features a challenging finale that will have the riders either climbing or descending for most of the final 73 kilometers of the 245-kilometer route.
The autumn classic, to be held on October 4, will include an ascent of the fearsome Colma di Sormano, a climb that returned to Il Lombardia in 2012, after a 40-year layoff, but didn’t feature in last year’s running. The Colma averages 17 percent, with sections kicking up close to 30 percent. And it comes immediately after the Madonna del Ghisallo, a beast in its own right, with an average gradient of 6.2 percent over its 8.5 kilometers.
What’s left of the peloton will then descend into the lakeside city of Como for two more short, punchy climbs—the five-kilometer Civiglio, at an average of 10 percent, and the five-kilometer San Fermo della Battaglia. Though it averages a friendlier seven percent, the latter climb tops out just five kilometers from the finish.
After a four-kilometer descent, the riders will have to negotiate one left-hand turn with 600 meters to go, which will put them onto a wide, flat straight that promises a high-speed finish for whomever has managed to hang on.
In addition to the 17 WorldTour teams, the season-ending monument will feature eight wild-card squads, including American Pro Continental outfit UnitedHealthcare.