In 2016 we saw the last Il Lombardia travelling from Como to Bergamo, and Esteban Chaves took the spoils. The route is entirely different though, yet the finale is almost a carbon copy of five years ago.
The Madonna del Ghisallo is the first ascent of the day. The riders decent towards Ballagio before the route continues for tens of kilometres on the shores of Lake Como and then Lake Garlate. The riders are almost in Bergamo when the route turns north in Almenno San Bartolomeo. Which is where the uphill action really kick in.
The ascent to Roncola is 9.4 kilometres long and the average gradient sits at 6.6%. The first and last part are nothing special, but the heart of the climb rises at 8 to 10%. The riders are more than 100 kilometres underway when they reach the village.
After the descent the next ascent comes with more friendly gradients. The climb to Berbenno is 6.8 kilometres long and averages 4.6%. It’s a gradual slope without steep ramps.
Back in the valley the route follows the Brembo River upstream for 10 kilometres and just after moving through thermal town San Pellegrino the longest climb of the day begins. The Passo di Zambla totals 24 kilometres, although one could argue that it’s actually several ascents. The first part climbs for 11 kilometres at 6.2% and after a short downhill the road goes up for 1.4 kilometres at 7.1%. A virtually flat section leads onto a 2.5 kilometres climb at 7% to the top.
The Zambla Pass is crested with 65 kilometres remaining. The first 25 fly downhill to the valley of the Serio River before the last big climb of the day appears. The Passo di Ganda is 9.2 kilometres long and averages 7.3%. The last 3.2 kilometres rise at almost 10%.
Another descent – 16 kilometres – takes the riders back into the Serio valley. It would be easy to continue straight towards the finish on the Viale Giovanni XXIII in Bergamo, but no, there is one last obstacle remaining. With 4,5 kilometres to go the riders tackle the Colle Aperto, a ramp of 1.6 kilometres at 7.9% with the last part on pebble paving
The last 3 kilometres fly down to the line on the Viale Giovanni XXIII.
Another interesting read: results 2021 Il Lombardia.
Tour of Lombardy 2021: route, profiles, more
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