The Tour of Lombardy returns on October 4 with a new, challenging finale to its race route. The race starts from Bergamo, where it ended last year, before finishing in Como 245 kilometres later after tackling a course that includes the climbs of the Madonna del Ghisallo, Muro and Colma di Sormano, Civiglio and San Fermo della Battaglia.
The first 40 kilometres of the Tour of Lombardy - or Il Lombardia, as RCS has rebranded it in recent years - are relatively flat with the first climb, the Colle Gallo, coming soon afterwards. The route then heads back towards Bergamo before passing through Brianza, crossing the Colle Brianza and then descending into Pescate.
Next up is the hallowed Madonna del Ghisallo, with its maximum gradient of 14 per cent. The Ghisallo, which comes after 180 kilometres, is followed in turn by the Colma di Sormano, the longest climb of the race. Immediately afterwards, the peloton faces into the Muro di Sormano – a 2-kilometre climb with gradients averaging 15 per cent but pitches reaching almost 30 per cent half-way up the climb.
Once over the summit the road briefly flattens, offering the peloton a brief chance to find their bearings and possibly regroup before a technical descent towards the roads around Como.
The Civiglio climb comes soon after, its 10 per cent gradients once again providing a launchpad for an attack with just over 15 kilometres of the race remaining.
There is then a short descent back towards Como before the final ascent of the San Fermo della Battaglia, which comes inside the final 10 kilometres of racing. The ascent itself is not the most difficult or longest of the race but after nearly 240 kilometres, it will certain offer the climbers and those still feeling fresh or uncertain about their sprint one last opportunity. The summit of the climb comes with just 5 kilometres remaining, with the descent leading towards the flat, wide finishing straight.