The Giro Di Lombardia is better known as ‘The Race of the Falling Leaves’ It marks the close of the professional cycling season and comes one week after the World Championships. Originally run in 1905, it is not Italy’s oldest race (that privilege goes to Milan-Turin) however, along with Milan San Remo, the Giro di Lombardia is Italy’s most prestigious one day classic.
Route of the Giro di Lombardia
The start is in Varese on the Northern border of Italy, near Switzerland. It then passes through the town of Como (which was the finish between 1961 and 1984).
The race then passes the shore of Lake Lecco before climbing the Passo Intelvi. This is the high point of the race reaching a height of 760m.
Maddona del Ghisallo
This is a climb on the the shores of Lake Lecco. It includes a shrine to cyclists, blessed by the pope in 1949. It includes cycling memorabilia and photos of cyclists killed on Italian roads. It is a place of pilgrimage for the tifosi (Italian cycling fans)
After descending the Passo Intelve the race passes through Bergamo. Before finishing the race loops round three climbs; Colle Gallo, Selvino and Colle Berbenno. The race then finishes in Bergamo, after crossing a tough cobbles climb to “Citta Alta”, giving a final chance for a climber to get away.
Fausto Coppi and Giro di Lombardia
The greatest champion of Giro di Lombardia was probably Fausto Coppi. Coppi dominated the race between 1946 and 1949; he won with total domination, leaving the field far behind. In 1956, Coppi finished second to Andre Darrigade, but, afterwards he struggled to maintain his standing amongst other cyclists.
Modern Winners of the Giro di Lombardia
Sean Kelly was another cyclist able to dominate the Giro di Lombardy, beginning in 1983, he won the race a total of 3 times.
- Tony Rominger 1989, 1992
- Eddy Merckx 1971, 1972
- Bernaud Hinault 1979 1984
Winners of Giro Di Lombardia since 2000
2000 Raimondas Rumšas – Fassa Bortolo
2001 Danilo Di Luca – Aqua & Sapone
2002 Michele Bartoli – Fassa Bortolo
2003 Michele Bartoli – Fassa Bortolo
2004 Damiano Cunego – Saeco
2005 Paolo Bettini – Quick Step
2006 Paolo Bettini – Quick Step-Innergetic
2007 Damiano Cunego – Lampre