Muro di Sormano returns to 2012 il Lombardia route
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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Muro di Sormano returns to 2012 il Lombardia route

by Ben Atkins at 6:19 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Fall Classics, Giro di Lombardia
 
Dreaded climb back after 50 years in 251km course between Bergamo and Lecco

oliver zauggRace organiser RCS Sport has announced the route of this years il Lombardia - previously known as the Giro de Lombardia - which will be raced on Saturday, September 29th, between Bergamo and Lecco. The race, which has moved forward in the calendar two weeks to both be closer to the World championships, and to accommodate the new Tour of Hangzhou, in China, will also coincide with the 70th birthday of Italian cycling legend, and two-time race winner, Felice Gimondi, who is a native of the Bergamo province.

After moving the finish to Lecco last year, after finishing in nearby Como for seven years, the start of the race has now been moved to Bergamo, where it finished between 1995 and 2003. The big headline of the new course however, is the inclusion of the climb of the Muro di Sormano, which was last used by the race in 1962; the fierce climb returns, says RCS Sport, thanks to “a huge number of requests from cycling fans”.

The climb, which averages 15.8% over its final two kilometres, with its penultimate half kilometre at 19%, including sections of between 25 and 27%. The last time it was used - as Dutchman Jo de Roo went on to win the first of his two straight victories between Milano and Como - many riders in the peloton were forced to get off and walk on its steepest gradients.

While its summit comes almost 80km from the finish, and so is unlikely to decide the overall winner, tactics and positioning will be key - as they are on the super steep climbs of the Belgian Classics - and many big names could see their races end here.

Following an eastward loop from the Bergamo start, the race route will head west towards the hilly terrain to the south of the Como and Lecco lakes, via the climb of the Valico di Valcava - which was climbed in the 15th stage of this year’s Giro d’Italia - after 90km. After climbing the small Colle Brianza, the peloton will scale the Muro di Sormano, before following the eastern bank of Lake Como to Bellagio and the foot of the iconic Madonna del Ghisallo.

As last year, the route will then take riders over the climb to Villa Vergano, which tops out with less than ten kilometres to to, before the fast descent to the finish in the lakeside city of Lecco.

Last year’s edition was won by Swiss rider Oliver Zaugg of Leopard Trek, taking the first ever victory of his eight-year career, ahead of Garmin-Cervélo’s DAn Martin, and Katusha’s Joaquim Rodríguez.

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