The riders set off from Bergamo to enter an exceptionally mountainous first part. The first climb appears after roughly 23 kilometres in the shape of the Forcella di Bianzano. It’s a gentle opener of 6.4 kilometres at 5%. The descent coincides with the base of the next ascent. The Passo di Ganda is 9.2 kilometres long and goes up at 7.3%. So, that’s something to sink your teeth into.
The race is now 50 kilometres underway and descends – pepped up with some uphill kicks – to the following climb. This one goes to the roof of Il Lombardia in Dossena. To get there riders climb for 5.5 kilometres at an average gradient of 4.9%. The village is situated at 1,061 metres above sea level.
The riders plunge down into San Giovanni Bianco at the foot of the 18.2 kilometres long Forcella di Bura. Sounds intimidating, but the average gradient will be reassuring to lesser climbers: 2.5%. The first 8.8 kilometres go up at 4.5% and, after a short downhill, the climbing continues at similar gradients.
And there we go again, nosediving into the village Brambilla, where the last climb of the mountainous first half appears. The Colle di Berbenno accounts for 4.5 kilometres of climbing at 6.2%. Still more than 130 kilometres to go at the top.
The route then enters a calm phase with hardly any hurdles for the next 80 kilometres. Most of it runs along Lago di Garlate and, later, Lago di Como. Cruising along the beautiful shores the riders reach Bellagio. Which is the starting point of one of the most emblematic climbs of Il Lombardia.
The Madonna del Ghisallo is 8.6 kilometres long and the average gradient sits at 6.2%. Yet, most of the climb slopes at 9% or more, while the steepest ramp (14%) appears just after leaving Bellagio.
After hearing the chapel bells ringing at the summit the riders continue downhill into Asso. In recent editions with a Como finish the route turned right to Sormano just before Asso, but that’s not the case this time. The infamous Muro di Sormano is neglected and Il Lombardia leaves the mountains behind. But, not for long.
With 30 kilometres remaining the riders enter the finishing circuit to tackle the short climb to San Fermo della Battaglia straight away. This is a 2.7 kilometres hill at 7.2% that tops out at 10% just before the village. The plummet into Como is a perfect test for the finale. The first 3.7 kilometres drop at 5.9%, the last 1.6 kilometres are as good as flat.
The final lap features two climbs. First the Civiglio, a 4.2 kilometres climb at 9.8% with steepest ramps at 14%. The riders then descends back to the place where they entered the finishing circuit to continue on familiar terrain. So, again the 2.7 kilometres at 7.2% to San Fermo della Battaglia and the ensuing downhill into Como.
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Tour of Lombardy 2022: routes, profiles, more
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