Gran Fondo Il Lombardia
The most interesting and technical end-of-season Gran Fondo will be back on October 13. The route of this edition has been changed slightly, but has retained most of its old features.
The start and the finish are set in the lovely city of Cantù, in the province of Como, where the participants will receive a warm and enthusiastic welcome.
The first 25 km follow the constant undulations of the roads of Brianza, up to Maglio. The following 7 kilometres, leading the riders to the hill of Sormano, are the hardest yet the most exciting of the race. The last two kilometres of this climb, the iconic MURO DI SORMANO, a totem in worldwide cycling – will be the climax of the race.
Here, the route climbs steeply with an average 15.8% gradient, topping out at 27%. The effort will be tremendous, and someone might have to put their foot down. The writings on the tarmac and the signage at the side of the road will be there to provide Gran Fondo athletes with the experience of a real Pro.
Less experienced riders may take a 2 km detour allowing them to reach the summit along a milder climb.
After a sharp descent diving into Nesso, the route levels out briefly and then undulates again, up to Regatola, where the athletes will tackle the second climb of the day, the GHISALLO.
Gradients are high, but not as steep as in Sormano. The climb is not too complicated, and the route winds its way in an enjoyable landscape. The most combative athletes may grind out the bigger gears. This will be a climb for the strong and smart. The average slope is 6.2% over 9 km, topping out at 14% towards the end.
On the summit, the riders will be welcomed by the bells of Madonna del Ghisallo and by the most famous museum in cycling history.
At the top of the Ghisallo, 70 km into the Gran Fondo, the riders will have covered nearly two-thirds of the route, and the hardest parts will be behind them. A long (nearly 20 km) and broad descent will lead them to Merone, allowing them to rest their legs before the final 20 kilometres, climbing again in short and steep spurts.
After 109 km of racing and 1,700 m in vertical altitude gain, the riders will then reach the finish at the heart of Cantù, to be crowned the heroes of the day.
The beauty of this Gran Fondo lies in its unique route, which takes in two iconic climbs in an extraordinary landscape. A perfect combination of ascents, descents and steep spurts that ensures fun and enjoyment to all participants.
All without forgetting that the day before, Pro riders will be battling each other on the very same roads to conquer the 113th edition of the “classic of the falling leaves”.