Start location: Seregno
Finish location: Bergamo
Start time: 11:45 CEST
Finish time (approx): 17:12 CEST
Lombardy is at once the economic heartland of Italy, as well as being one of the richest in terms of its scenery and history. The southern part of the region is the industrial centre of the country, with Milan its capital, and industries like automobiles, agriculture and textile are all crucial to the Italian economy. Yet far from grey and severe, the scenery here is as beautiful as anywhere in Italy, with the Alpine summits in the north making a stunning backdrop.
It boasts more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than any other region in Italy, one of which, the Venetian Works of Defence, surrounds the old town of the host of stage 15’s finish, Bergamo. Built by the Venetian Republic in the sixteenth century when it controlled Bergamo, these works were a network of walls and fortifications designed to help protect the city in what was then the new era of warfare with firearms and gunpowder, and have survived today mostly intact.
To cycling fans, Bergamo is also recognisable as the alternating start and finishing location of the Tour of Lombardy, the fifth Monument of the season. Known as ‘the climber’s Classic,’ it’s a race that makes the most of the big hills and undulating terrain of the region, and one with a distinctly autumnal feel as an October-set curtain closer of the season.
Stage 15 profile sourced on the Giro d’Italia website
Although the Giro d’Italia will visit in spring rather than the autumn (this will be a race of the growing, rather than falling, leaves), stage 15 nonetheless features a similarly challenging terrain as the Tour of Lombardy. That race’s most recognisable climbs like Madonna del Ghisallo, Muro di Sormano and San Fermo della Battaglia aren’t featuring, but those that are still hard enough to make this a very challenging and potentially impactful stage on the GC race.
In designing the route, the organisers have gone for fewer but longer climbs than your average Tour of Lombardy. The first of the four categorised ascents, Valico di Valcava, is 11.6km long and rises at a nasty average of 8%, while the Selvino climb that follows it is even longer (11km), albeit less steep (5.6%).
These climbs are too far from the finish for any selections to form, but are certainly hard enough to wear the riders down ahead of the pivotal final climb of Roncola Alta. If any GC riders are going to…
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