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Giro di Lombardia route announced

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Riders negotiate the twisting Giro di Lombardia roads.

Riders negotiate the twisting Giro di Lombardia roads. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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A spectator snaps a photo of the Giro di Lombardia peloton.

A spectator snaps a photo of the Giro di Lombardia peloton. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Giro d'Italia race director Angelo Zomegnan

Giro d'Italia race director Angelo Zomegnan

The route for the 2010 Giro di Lombardia has been unveiled in Milan by race organisers RCS Sport and it includes a number of interesting changes from recent editions. The race start has been switched from Varese to Milan, while the climb of Civiglio is replaced by the Colma di Sormano. As has been the case since 2004, the race will finish in Como.

The decision to start the race in Milan had been taken in conjunction with Lombardy’s regional government and will serve to showcase their new office complex, the 161m-high Palazzo Lombardia. The gruppo will assemble there on the morning of October 16 before heading north out of the city.

“The local government would like that the Palazzo Lombardia become a start point for sporting events, including the Giro di Lombardia, so we’re leading the way” explained race director Angelo Zomegnan to Gazzetta dello Sport.

The Giro di Lombardia began exclusively in Milan until 1984, and the race finished outside the city’s Duomo between 1985 and 1989. Next season will see the finish of the Giro d’Italia return to Milan after finishing in Rome (2009) and Verona (2010).

On leaving Milan, the race heads towards Como, before tackling a testing circuit around the lake. The first serious climb is the Intelvi, after 64km, and that is followed by the Portone on 142km and the Colle Balisio on 161km as the race builds towards a crescendo.

The town of Lecco heralds the coming of the race’s major difficulties. First up is the iconic climb to the church of the Madonna del Ghisallo and that leads on to the greatest addition to this year’s route, the Colma di Sormano. Standing 1124m and coming after 219km, the climb is sure to be a major factor in this year’s event.

“We’re leaving the climb to Civiglio and taking on the one to Colma di Sormano,” said Zomegnan. “Then the race descends to Nesso to give that branch of Lake Como the chance to show itself to the world.”

After leaving Nesso, the race hugs the shore of the lake and then tackles the tricky climb of San Fermo, just 5km from the finish in Como.

“At 260km, it’s a little bit longer than it’s been in recent years but in terms of climbing and altitude gained, it’s more or less the same,” Zomegnan said. “It’s tough and beautiful. It’s a monumental classic.”