Giro di Lombardia: Radically changed route for 2010
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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Giro di Lombardia: Radically changed route for 2010

by Ben Atkins at 4:35 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Fall Classics, Giro di Lombardia
 
Milano start and hillier finish point to even tougher race this year

philippe gilbertRace organiser RCS Sport presented the course of next month’s Giro di Lombardia in the Palazzo Lombardia, in Milano today, with a radically different course to recent years. The race will cover 260km of the northern Italian region, finishing on the lakefront in Como, but that is as close as it gets to the courses of recent years.

After three years in Varese, the venue for the 2008 World Championships, the start switches to Milano, in front of the Palazzo Lombardia that the race was presented in. This will be the first time that the race has been run between the regional capital and Como since 1984, when the race was won by five-time Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault.

"The Giro di Lombardia has long been one of the most exciting races of cycling,” said Roberto Formigoni, the president of the Regione Lombardia. “This edition has a new importance: starting from Milan, after 26 years, at one of the new landmarks of the city and of Lombardia itself.”

From the start, the course heads almost due north, passing through Como, before passing around the outside of the inverted ‘Y’ of the Lago di Como and the Lago di Lecco. After passing through the city of Lecco, the race takes the familiar banks of the lake in the direction of Bellagio to the base of the iconic climb to the Madonna del Ghisallo.

After the Ghisallo, instead of descending towards Erbe, the race will turn right to pass over the 1124m Colma di Sormano. Rising 629m in 9.6km, the Sormano presents a much longer and tougher climb than is usually experienced at this stage of the race. With just 41km to go from the top it will likely thin the peloton further as it makes its way to the finish.

After descending to Nesso, on the banks of the Lago di Como, the course makes its way south once more towards the finish. Once reaching Como though, instead of simply heading towards the lakefront, the race will finally rejoin the route of previous years and tackle the short, sharp climb of San Fermo di Battaglia.

From the top of the climb it is a simple 3.5km descent, followed by a flat 1.5km to the finish so, as so many times before, the leader over the San Fermo di Battaglia will likely be the winner of the race.

The 2010 Giro di Lombardia will be the 104th edition of the race, which began in 1905; the only years when it has not been held were 1943 and 1944, when it was interrupted by World War 2.

Last year’s race was won by Belgian Philippe Gilbert (Silence-Lotto), ahead of Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Alexandr Kolobnev (Saxo Bank).

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