Il Lombardia Reverses Route for Bergamo Finish
Pogacar, Roglic, Evenepoel, Geoghegan Hart and Nibali expected to contend final WorldTour race with reversed route and 4,500m of climbing
The Italian monument has confirmed that the race will successfully reverse for this year’s version, to be held on October 9th. The previous four editions of the “races of the falling leaves” have run from Bergamo to Como, with the finale along Lake Como being punctuated by the Civiglio and Battaglia climbs within the closing 20km. Esteban Chaves won a three-up sprint in Bergamo in that year.
The new route from Como to Bergamo that avoids the steep Muro di Sormano climb and the testing descent where Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-QuickStep) crashed into a ravine, but still includes 4,500 metres of climbing to make the one-day hardest Classic of the season.
Evenepoel hit a low stone wall of a bridge, and fell into the ravine below. He suffered a fractured pelvis that ruined his early 2021 season but has made a full recovery and is apparently keen to return to Il Lombardia.
The startlist for this yearr’s race is to be confirmed, although Tadej Pogacar has said his intention to race, and 2020 winner Jakob Fuglsang is bound to return to defend his title. Roglic, Geoghegan Hart and Nibali are expected to contend final WorldTour race of 2021.
The 239km race will start on the edge of Lake Garda and climb the Ghisallo from the easier inland Asso side before descending to the lake edge at Bellagio. The route then heads east via Lecco to tackle the major climbs of the race in the Bergamo hills.
The 9.4km Roncola climb comes after 100km and includes an early section at 17 per cent and a long central part at 8.2 per cent. It is followed by the Berbenno, the 11km Dossena and a gradual road up to the 1,257-metre high Zambla Alta, followed by a steep descent and equally steep 9.2km Passo di Ganda - the back side of the well-known Selvino climb.
A 20km descent via 19 hairpins launches the riders to Bergamo with the final steep climb up to historic Bergamo Alta offering a chance for a late attack.
The fast descent to the finish in Viale Roma is also open to late attacks, before the finish in the streets of Bergamo Bassa.