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[Re-posted] Giro di Lombardia: Course Shakeups!

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[OK, it's from two weeks ago, but this post needed rehashing. Or at least doing so preempts the need for a course review, which we already did...]

The announcement today of the Giro di Lombardia course came with a few changes of note.

  • Presented as a symbolic nod to modern times, the startline will be in Milan at the ultramodern and newly constructed skyscraper at Palazzo Lombardia, seat of the regional government. Tall buildings are still a source of civic pride, I suppose. Anyway, the traditional start is Como, or sometimes Varese or Mendrisio as in recent years. So moving it south a ways to Milan is a notable difference, adding 18km to last year's course (now 260km total).
  • The post-Ghisallo trek is completely changed. Last year the racers descended the Ghisallo, futzed around in Erba, then tackled the Civiglio, some 300 vertical meters of fun, before the traditional finish over the San Fermo della Battaglia. This year the course goes right from the Ghisallo to the Colma di Sormano, a nearly 10km climb from Maglio topping out at 1124 meters, far higher than the traditional peaks of the Falling Leaves. Gone is the Civiglio, so surviving the one-two punch up the Colma will heavily influence the race. Altimetra:

Img_altimetria2010_1__medium

More on the Colma di Sormano:

  •  Profile is here. Most of the climb is in the 6-8% range. Nothing shocking, but this is a long drag at the end of a hard day, coming almost right off the Madonna del Ghisallo.
  • There is a climb called the Muro Sormano, a horrifying little beast topping out at 20% over the 2km track. Youtube is full of videos of people climbing up it. Personally, I don't think this is on the course, or it would have been mentioned in large, all-caps headlines. It tops out at the same exact altitude, but there are a number of streets in Sormano that come to the summit.
  • From there it's a 13km descent to Nesso, maxing out at 9%. Could be tricky.

For more on the race, check out the official website. And of course stay tuned here, we will be all over this race post-worlds. Like mist on a Pyrenean peak.