Ivrea is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and the area is inhabited since the Neolithic era. These days the townspeople love to fight each other with oranges during the Battle of the Oranges, an old ritual of Ivrea Carnival. They also love to watch the Giro d’Italia, but is has been a while since the Italian Grand Tour visited the town in northwestern Italy. The last inclusion was in 2013, when Beñat Intxausti bested Tanel Kangert and Przemyslav Niemiec in a three-up sprint.
The 2019 Giro d’Italia will see a race start in Nivrea before the riders head to Como. Firstly, the route crosses the Po Plain – so it’s mostly flat – but the last 100 kilometres are something else. The Giro takes the shape of Il Lombardia when the race approaches Asso. Via Valbrona the riders drop down to Onno and following a section on the shores of Lago di Como the renowned Madonna del Ghisallo appears. It climbs 8.6 kilometres at 6.2%, yet this average is merely an indication. The Ghisallo welcomes the riders with its steepest section of 14% right at the bottom and until kilometre 4 the grades are hovering around 9%. Then it levels out only to bounce back to 8 to 10% in the last 1.3 kilometres.
Next up is the Colma di Sormano. In Il Lombardia this is the prelude to the inhumanly steep Muro di Sormano, but the Giro follows the regular road to the summit at 1,124 metres. This way the climb is 9.6 kilometres and the average slope sits at 6.6%.
Following a beautiful drop to Nesso, the riders turn left and race along the shores of Lago di Como. The route almost enters Como before a left-hander takes the riders back into the hills. The Civiglio is a 4.2 kilometres climb at 9.8% with steepest ramps of 14%. The race concludes with a technical descent into Como, where 3 kilometres on the flat rund to the finish on the promenade long Lago di Como.
The 2015 and 2017 Tour of Lombardy featured almost the same finale. On both occasions Vincenzo Nibali attacked just before the descent of the Civiglio and soloed to victory.
The first three riders on the line win time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds, while the second intermediate sprint – at kilometre 127.3 – comes with 3, 2 and 1 seconds.
Another interesting read: results/race report 15th stage 2019 Giro d’Italia.
Giro d’Italia 2019 stage 15: routes, profiles, more
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