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One of the toughest monuments on the classics calendar, Il Lombardia (a.k.a., the Giro di Lombardia or Tour of Lombardy) just got a whole lot tougher.
#PelotonShorts by John Wilcockson/Photo by Yuzuru Sunada
In the postwar era, when Fausto Coppi set his record-setting string of five victories, the highest and steepest climb was the legendary Madonna del Ghisallo at 2,473 feet (754 meters) above sea level. On the profile for this year’s 110th edition, the Ghisallo, now the first climb of the day after the race starts in Como, looks like a pimple compared with four climbs that fill the last 100 kilometers of the 241-kilometer course.
The four “giants” in chronological order are the Valico di Valcava, almost 12 kilometers at 8 percent, with a 17-percent maximum, to a height of 4,396 feet (1,340 meters); Sant’Antonio Abbandonata, 6.5 kilometers at 8.9 percent with a 15-percent max, to 3,222 feet (982 meters); Miragolo San Salvatore, 8.7 kilometers at 7 percent, with a 11-percent max, to 3,094 feet (943 meters); and Selvino, 7 kilometers at 5.4 percent, with a 9-percent max, to 3,110 feet (948 meters).
This last climb comes 28 kilometers from the finish and is followed by a 12-kilometer downhill leading to one last obstacle, the partly cobbled Largo Colle Aperto to the heights of old Bergamo (just over a kilometer long at 8 percent with a 12-percent max), before the race descends the last 3 kilometers into the center of Bergamo. It was on this final short climb that, in 2003, Italian Michele Bartoli made a strong attack (this image) to win Lombardia almost two minutes ahead of the main group.