Giro di Lombardia

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Giro di Lombardia
Giro di Lombardia logo.svg
Race details
Date Early October
Region Lombardy, Italy
English name Tour of Lombardy
Local name(s) Giro di Lombardia
Il Lombardia
Nickname(s) La classica delle foglie morte (Italian)
Race of the Falling Leaves (English)
Discipline Road
Competition UCI World Tour
Type One-day Classic
Organiser RCS Sport
Race director Michele Acquarone
First edition 1905 (1905)
Editions 109 (as of 2015)
First winner  Giovanni Gerbi (ITA)
Most wins  Fausto Coppi (ITA)
(5 wins)
Most recent  Vincenzo Nibali (ITA)

The Giro di Lombardia (English: Tour of Lombardy) is a cycling race, in Lombardy, Italy. It is traditionally the last of the five 'Monuments' of the season, and also one of the last events on the UCI World Tour calendar. It is the biggest Autumn Classic in cycling, its nickname is the Classica delle Foglie Morte ("the Classic of the Falling (dead) Leaves"). The most famous climb is the Madonna del Ghisallo in the race finale.

The first edition was held in 1905. Since its creation, the Giro di Lombardia has been the classic with the fewest number of interruptions in cycling; only the editions of 1943 and 1944 were cancelled for reasons of war. Italian Fausto Coppi won a record five times.

Because of its demanding course, the race is considered a climbers classic, favouring climbers with a strong sprint finish.



The Tour of Lombardy was created as an idea of journalist Tullo Morgagni. Morgagni wanted to give Milanese rider Pierino Albini the opportunity to take revenge for his defeat against Giovanni Cuniolo in the short-lived Italian King's Cup. His newspaper la Gazzetta dello Sport organized a new race as a 'rematch' on 12 November 1905, called Milano-Milano. The race attracted vast crowds along the course and ended in Milan with the victory of Giovanni Gerbi, at the time one of the stars of cycling. Gerbi won the race 40 minutes ahead of Giovanni Rossignoli and Luigi Ganna.[1]

The race soon became a fixture as the closing race of the Italian and European cycling season. It was renamed Giro di Lombardia in 1907. After the pioneering years the race was dominated alternately by Frenchman Henri Pélissier and local heroes Gaetano Belloni and Costante Girardengo, each winning the race three times.

Race of the Champions[edit]

Record winner Fausto Coppi

From the 1930s to the 1950s, Alfredo Binda, Gino Bartali and Fausto Coppi, icons of Italian cycling, were the main protagonists and immortalized the race with their exploits. Coppi won the race 5 times (of which 4 consecutive wins) and Binda 4 times. Coppi finished solo on every win, following a successful strategy of attacking on the Madonna del Ghisallo and maintaining his lead to the finish in Milan. Gino Bartali was the king of the podium with 9 top-3 finishes (3 wins, 4 second places and 2 third places).

The race of 1956 was a particularly fascinating battle. At 60 km from the finish a breakaway was formed with Fausto Coppi, seeking his sixth victory. Italian rider Fiorenzo Magni had missed the break, and as he fell further behind, a car passed him with Giulia Occhini, Coppi's infamous mistress, sitting in the back. The two did not get on and as her car passed, Magni saw her sneer at him. Infuriated, Magni set out in an improbable solo pursuit of the breakaway and caught the leaders in the final kilometres. He and Coppi openly argued and André Darrigade, sensing their indecisiveness, attacked to claim the victory, thereby relegating Coppi and Magni to second and third place.[2]

In 1961, the finish of the Tour of Lombardy was moved from Milan to Como and the identity of the race changed fundamentally. The previous flat finale towards the finish in Milan was replaced with a spectacular finish by the Como Lake, just 6 km after the top of the last climb. Despite an occasional return to finishing in Milan, the race had developed a new personality, defined by a series of arduous climbs amid a mountainous scenery.[3]

Over the years the race has been dominated mainly by Italian riders. Frenchman Henri Pelissier and Ireland's Sean Kelly were the only non-Italian riders to win the race three times. Cycling legend Eddy Merckx won three consecutive victories from 1971 to 1973, but his last win was stripped after a positive doping test and awarded to second-place finisher Felice Gimondi.[4]

The race of 1974 gave birth to another memorable anecdote. Eddy Merckx wanted to get his revenge, but fellow Belgian Roger De Vlaeminck attacked early in the race, inducing Merckx to make his team work in pursuit. De Vlaeminck, not really intending to go solo, stopped and hid behind a bush to let the peloton pass. He rode back to the front of the peloton and jokingly asked a baffled Merckx who they were chasing. De Vlaeminck won the race ahead of Merckx.[5]

The Autumn Classic[edit]

For nearly 70 years the race was called "il Mondiale d'Autunno" in Italy ("the World Championship of Autumn"), as the real World Championship was held at the end of summer. It lost this particular role in 1995 when the UCI revolutionized the international cycling calendar and moved the World Championship from August to October, one week before the Giro di Lombardia.

From 1988 to 2004 the Tour of Lombardy was the final leg of the UCI Road World Cup and was often the decisive race in that competition. In 1997 Michele Bartoli needed to finish ahead of Rolf Sørensen in the race to be the winner of the 1997 World Cup. For 30 km he did solo work in a four-man breakaway, so sacrificing his chances to win the sprint. The edition was won by Frenchman Laurent Jalabert, Bartoli finished fourth and won the World Cup.[6]

Damiano Cunego won three times

The race had become the most important Autumn Classic together with Paris–Tours in France, which was mainly won by sprinters or escapees. By the early 21st century however, Paris–Tours lost its status as a World Tour race, and the Tour of Lombardy was the one remaining major Classic in autumn, the only Monument in the latter part of the year. Damiano Cunego imposed himself as the Lord of Lombardy with three victories.

In 2006, the race celebrated its 100th edition, won by Paolo Bettini, one week after becoming world champion. The edition was particularly emotional because Bettini's brother had died in a car accident just five days before the race, and the Italian was overcome with emotion when he crossed the finish line.[7] Bettini is one of seven riders to win the Tour of Lombardy after becoming world champion earlier the same year. The other six are Alfredo Binda, Tom Simpson, Eddy Merckx, Felice Gimondi, Giuseppe Saronni and Oscar Camenzind.

Since 2012 both the World Championship and the Giro di Lombardia have a new, earlier date on the calendar at the end of September, and the name officially became Il Lombardia. It was the beginning of a remarkable revival for the Monument race. The Tour of Lombardy is now the classic par excellence for riders to take revenge for the world championship or to achieve an "Autumn Double win". In recent years Philippe Gilbert and Joaquim Rodríguez each won the race twice.


Like most of cycling's classics, the route has developed over the years, and the Tour of Lombardy has undergone more changes than any other cycling monument. Since the 1960s it has been notable for its hilly and varied course around the Como lake, to the northeast of Milan, with a flat finish in one of the cities on the shores of the lake.

Its signature symbol is the climb of the Madonna del Ghisallo, one of the iconic sanctuaries in cycling. The climb starts near Bellagio at the shore of the Como Lake, and heads up until the church of Madonna del Ghisallo (754m), the patroness of cyclists. Over the years, it has become indelibly linked with the race and with cycling in general. It was the favourite climb of cycling greatnesses Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali, who immortalized it. The church also serves as a museum containing religious and cycling-related objects.[8]

Course changes[edit]

Originally the Tour of Lombardy was raced from Milan to Milan, and like many cycling classics, climbs were gradually introduced to the course, in a bid to make the race more demanding. In 1961, the finish was moved to Como and the character of the race changed fundamentally. The long and flat run-in to the finish in Milan was abandoned; in its place came a mountainous lake-side finish, just 6 km from the top of the last climb. The route usually has some changes every year, sometimes a complete restyling, only to be altered again the next edition.

Route of the 2008 edition

From 1984 to 1989 the finish returned to Milan and in 1990 to its suburb Monza, inviting attackers for long-distance breakaways. From 1995 to 2003 the finish was in Bergamo, with the Colle del Gallo (Col Gàl in Bergamasque) as the last climb of the day. The Colle del Gallo, with its sanctuary of the Madonna dei ciclisti at the top, often proved to be decisive.

In 2004, after twenty years, the finish returned to the lakefront in Como, with the short but steep San Fermo della Battaglia climb just before the arrival. The 2010 edition saw the re-introduction of the Muro di Sormano, a spectacular climb with a maximum gradient of 25%, which replaced the Civiglio after the Ghisallo.[9]

In 2011 the route was fully renewed, with a first-time finish in Lecco. The Sormano was included again, but was climbed before the Ghisallo. After the Ghisallo, a flat stretch led to the final climb of the race: the steep Villa Vergano in Galbiate. After the descent only 3 km remained until the finish in Lecco. The 3,4 km climb of Villa Vergano was the decisive site in the 2011 and 2012 edition.[10]

In 2014 the finish was moved to Bergamo. Organizer RCS announced that from 2014 to 2017 the finish of the Tour of Lombardy will alternate between Bergamo and Como.

Race characteristics[edit]

The Giro di Lombardia is considered a climbers classic and one of the most arduous races of the season, because of its distance (ca. 255 km) and several famous climbs. Nowadays the route usually features five or six significant climbs. The best-known of them is the Madonna del Ghisallo, one of the few fixed locations of the race. The climb is 10,6 kilometres long, with an average gradient of 5.2% and stretches of over 10%.

Profile of the 2015 Tour of Lombardy

Because the race usually has a downhill or flat run-in to the finish, the main contenders are riders with a broad range of skills. As such, the course favours climbers with a strong sprint finish and even Grand Tour specialists. Time trial specialist Tony Rominger won the Tour of Lombardy twice in the 1990s and Tour de France winner Vincenzo Nibali won the 2015 edition after a downhill attack on the penultimate descent.[11][12] The race is often compared to Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the monument race in Belgium earlier in the year. Both classics have a similar hilly course and show a similar palmarès since the 1960s, but are different in character. The hills in Lombardy are usually longer than those in the Belgian Ardennes and are more spread out over the course. Liège-Bastogne-Liège has 12 categorized climbs, usually shorter and steeper, coming in faster succession than in the Tour of Lombardy, and has an uphill-finish.[13]

Panoramic view of Lake Como with Bellagio at the foot of the Ghisallo

Because of its position in autumn as one of the last classics of the year, the race is commonly nicknamed the Race of the Falling Leaves. Consequently, the weather repeatedly plays a decisive role in the nature of the race. In bad weather - common to mountainous Lombardy - the race is often a grueling contest where the strongest riders attack well ahead of the finish. The editions of 2006 and 2010 were exceptionally rainy. In 2010 Philippe Gilbert and Michele Scarponi attacked with 40 km to go; Gilbert distanced Scarponi on the San Fermo della Battaglia and won the race.

When the weather conditions are good, teams are able to control the race more easily and decisive attacks come later in the race. On sunny days, the leaves on the trees typically blaze a golden trail around Lombardy, and TV coverage displays extensive aerial footage of the scenery around the Como Lake. The Italian press, never shy to introduce a poetic epithet, has also coined the phrase The Romantic Classic to denote the race.[3]

Significant climbs[edit]

An overview of climbs featured in the Giro di Lombardia. As the course changes every year, not all climbs are included in the same edition.

Climb Distance Average Grade Max Grade
Civiglio 5,7 km 6,9% 10%
Colle Brianza 4,2 km 6,9% 7,5%
Colma di Sormano 9,6 km 6,5% 8,4%
Colle del Gallo 6 km 6,8% 10,4%
Madonna del Ghisallo 10,6 km 5,2% 11%
Climb Distance Average Grade Max Grade
Muro di Sormano 1.7 km 17% 25%
San Fermo della Battaglia 2,2 km 8,2% 8,3%
Valcava 11,8 km 8% 12%
Villa Vergano 3,2 km 7,4% 15%

Start and finish places[edit]

Years Start Finish
1905–1960 Milano Milano
1961–1984 Milano Como
1984–1989 Como Milano (Duomo)
1990–1994 Milano Monza
1995–2001 Varese Bergamo
2002 Cantu Bergamo
2003 Como Bergamo
2004–2006 Switzerland Mendrisio Como
2007–2009 Varese Como
2010 Milano Como
2011 Milano Lecco
2012–2013 Bergamo Lecco
2014, 2016 Como Bergamo
2015, 2017 Bergamo Como


Rider Team
1905 Italy Gerbi, GiovanniGiovanni Gerbi (ITA) Maino
1906 Italy Brambilla, CesareCesare Brambilla (ITA) Bianchi
1907 France Garrigou, GustaveGustave Garrigou (FRA) Peugeot
1908 Luxembourg Faber, FracoisFrançois Faber (LUX) Peugeot-Wolber
1909 Italy Cuniolo, GiovanniGiovanni Cuniolo (ITA) Rudge
1910 Italy Michelotto, GiovanniGiovanni Michelotto (ITA) Stucchi
1911 France Pelissier, HenriHenri Pélissier (FRA)
1912 Italy Oriani, CarloCarlo Oriani (ITA) Stucchi
1913 France Pelissier, HenriHenri Pélissier (FRA) Alcyon
1914 Italy Bordin, LauroLauro Bordin (ITA) Bianchi
1915 Italy Belloni, GaetanoGaetano Belloni (ITA)
1916 Italy Torricelli, LeopoldoLeopoldo Torricelli (ITA) Maino
1917 Belgium Thys, PhilippePhilippe Thys (BEL) Peugeot
1918 Italy Belloni, GaetanoGaetano Belloni (ITA) Bianchi
1919 Italy Girardengo, CostanteCostante Girardengo (ITA) Stucchi
1920 France Pelissier, HenriHenri Pélissier (FRA) JB Louvet
1921 Italy Girardengo, CostanteCostante Girardengo (ITA) Stucchi
1922 Italy Girardengo, CostanteCostante Girardengo (ITA) Bianchi-Salga
1923 Italy Brunero, GiovanniGiovanni Brunero (ITA) Legnano-Pirelli
1924 Italy Brunero, GiovanniGiovanni Brunero (ITA) Legnano-Pirelli
1925 Italy Binda, AlfredoAlfredo Binda (ITA) Legnano-Pirelli
1926 Italy Binda, AlfredoAlfredo Binda (ITA) Legnano-Pirelli
1927 Italy Binda, AlfredoAlfredo Binda (ITA) Legnano-Pirelli
1928 Italy Belloni, GaetanoGaetano Belloni (ITA) Wolsit-Pirelli
1929 Italy Fossati, PietroPietro Fossati (ITA) Maino
1930 Italy Mara, MicheleMichele Mara (ITA) Bianchi
1931 Italy Binda, AlfredoAlfredo Binda (ITA) Legnano-Hutchinson
1932 Italy Negrini, AntonioAntonio Negrini (ITA) Maino
1933 Italy Piemontesi, DomenicoDomenico Piemontesi (ITA) Génial Lucifer-Hutchinson
1934 Italy Guerra, LearcoLearco Guerra (ITA) Maino
1935 Italy Mollo, EnricoEnrico Mollo (ITA) Gloria
1936 Italy Bartali, GinoGino Bartali (ITA) Legnano
1937 Italy Bini, AldoAldo Bini (ITA) Bianchi
1938 Italy Cinelli, CinoCino Cinelli (ITA) Frejus
1939 Italy Bartali, GinoGino Bartali (ITA) Legnano
1940 Italy Bartali, GinoGino Bartali (ITA) Legnano
1941 Italy Ricci, MarioMario Ricci (ITA) Legnano
1942 Italy Bini, AldoAldo Bini (ITA) Bianchi
1943 No race
1944 No race
1945 Italy Ricci, MarioMario Ricci (ITA) Legnano
1946 Italy Coppi, FaustoFausto Coppi (ITA) Bianchi
1947 Italy Coppi, FaustoFausto Coppi (ITA) Bianchi
1948 Italy Coppi, FaustoFausto Coppi (ITA) Bianchi
1949 Italy Coppi, FaustoFausto Coppi (ITA) Bianchi-Ursus
1950 Italy Soldani, RenzoRenzo Soldani (ITA) Thomann
1951 France Bobet, LouisonLouison Bobet (FRA) Stella-Dunlop
1952 Italy Minardi, GiuseppeGiuseppe Minardi (ITA) Legnano
1953 Italy Landi, BrunoBruno Landi (ITA) Fiorelli
1954 Italy Coppi, FaustoFausto Coppi (ITA) Bianchi-Pirelli
1955 Italy Maule, CletoCleto Maule (ITA) Torpado
1956 France Darrigade, AndreAndré Darrigade (FRA) Helyett-Potin
1957 Italy Ronchini, DiegoDiego Ronchini (ITA) Bianchi-Pirelli
1958 Italy Defilippis, NinoNino Defilippis (ITA) Carpano
1959 Belgium Looy, Rik VanRik Van Looy (BEL) Faema
1960 Belgium Daems, EmileEmile Daems (BEL) Philco
1961 Italy Taccone, VitoVito Taccone (ITA) Atala
1962 Netherlands Roo, Jo deJo de Roo (NED) St.Raphael-Helyett
1963 Netherlands Roo, Jo deJo de Roo (NED) St.Raphael-Gitane
1964 Italy Motta, GianniGianni Motta (ITA) Molteni
1965 United Kingdom Simpson, TomTom Simpson (GBR) Peugeot-BP-Michelin
1966 Italy Gimondi, FeliceFelice Gimondi (ITA) Salvarani
1967 Italy Bitossi, FrancoFranco Bitossi (ITA) Filotex
1968 Belgium Springel, Herman vanHerman van Springel (BEL) Dr.Mann-Grundig
1969 Belgium Monsere, Jean PierreJean-Pierre Monseré (BEL) Flandria-De Clerck
1970 Italy Bitossi, FrancoFranco Bitossi (ITA) Filotex
1971 Belgium Merckx, EddyEddy Merckx (BEL) Molteni
1972 Belgium Merckx, EddyEddy Merckx (BEL) Molteni
1973 Italy Gimondi, FeliceFelice Gimondi (ITA) Bianchi-Campagnolo
1974 Belgium De Vlaeminck, RogerRoger De Vlaeminck (BEL) Brooklyn
1975 Italy Moser, FrancescoFrancesco Moser (ITA) Samson
1976 Belgium De Vlaeminck, RogerRoger De Vlaeminck (BEL) Brooklyn
1977 Italy Baronchelli, GianbattistaGianbattista Baronchelli (ITA) Scic
1978 Italy Moser, FrancescoFrancesco Moser (ITA) Samson Campagnolo
1979 France Hinault, BernardBernard Hinault (FRA) Renault-Gitane-Campagnolo
1980 Belgium Wolf, Fons DeFons De Wolf (BEL) Boule d'Or-Colnago
1981 Netherlands Kuiper, HennieHennie Kuiper (NED) DAF Trucks-Cote D'Or
1982 Italy Saronni, GiuseppeGiuseppe Saronni (ITA) Del Tongo-Colnago
1983 Republic of Ireland Kelly, SeanSean Kelly (IRL) Sem-France Loire
1984 France Hinault, BernardBernard Hinault (FRA) La Vie Claire
1985 Republic of Ireland Kelly, SeanSean Kelly (IRL) Skil Sem Kas Miko
1986 Italy Baronchelli, GianbattistaGianbattista Baronchelli (ITA) Supermercati Brianzoli
1987 Italy Argentin, MorenoMoreno Argentin (ITA) Gewiss-Bianchi
1988 France Mottet, CharlyCharly Mottet (FRA) Systeme U-Gitane
1989 Switzerland Rominger, TonyTony Rominger (SUI) Chateau d'Ax
1990 France Delion, GillesGilles Delion (FRA) Helvetia-La Suisse
1991 Republic of Ireland Kelly, SeanSean Kelly (IRL) PDM-Concorde
1992 Switzerland Rominger, TonyTony Rominger (SUI) CLAS-Cajastur
1993 Switzerland Richard, PascalPascal Richard (SUI) Ariostea
1994 Russia Bobrik, VladislavVladislav Bobrik (RUS) Gewiss-Ballan
1995 Italy Faresin, GianniGianni Faresin (ITA) Lampre-Panaria
1996 Italy Tafi, AndreaAndrea Tafi (ITA) Mapei-GB
1997 France Jalabert, LaurentLaurent Jalabert (FRA) ONCE
1998 Switzerland Camenzind, OscarOscar Camenzind (SUI) Mapei-Bricobi
1999 Italy Celestino, MirkoMirko Celestino (ITA) Team Polti
2000 Lithuania Rumsas, RaimondasRaimondas Rumšas (LTU) Fassa Bortolo
2001 Italy Di Luca, DaniloDanilo Di Luca (ITA) Cantina Tollo-Acqua e Sapone
2002 Italy Bartoli, MicheleMichele Bartoli (ITA) Fassa Bortolo
2003 Italy Bartoli, MicheleMichele Bartoli (ITA) Fassa Bortolo
2004 Italy Cunego, DamianoDamiano Cunego (ITA) Saeco Macchine per Caffè
2005 Italy Bettini, PaoloPaolo Bettini (ITA) Quick Step-Innergetic
2006 Italy Bettini, PaoloPaolo Bettini (ITA) Quick Step-Innergetic
2007 Italy Cunego, DamianoDamiano Cunego (ITA) Lampre-Fondital
2008 Italy Cunego, DamianoDamiano Cunego (ITA) Lampre
2009 Belgium Gilbert, PhilippePhilippe Gilbert (BEL) Silence-Lotto
2010 Belgium Gilbert, PhilippePhilippe Gilbert (BEL) Omega Pharma-Lotto
2011 Switzerland Zaugg, OliverOliver Zaugg (SUI) Leopard Trek
2012 Spain Rodríguez, JoaquimJoaquim Rodríguez (ESP) Team Katusha
2013 Spain Rodríguez, JoaquimJoaquim Rodríguez (ESP) Team Katusha
2014 Republic of Ireland Martin, DanielDaniel Martin (IRL) Garmin-Sharp
2015 Italy Nibali, VincenzoVincenzo Nibali (ITA) Astana

Multiple Winners[edit]

Wins Rider Nationality Editions
5 Fausto Coppi  Italy 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1954
4 Alfredo Binda  Italy 1925, 1926, 1927, 1931
3 Henri Pélissier  France 1911, 1913, 1920
Costante Girardengo  Italy 1919, 1921, 1922
Gaetano Belloni  Italy 1915, 1918, 1928
Gino Bartali  Italy 1936, 1939, 1940
Seán Kelly  Ireland 1983, 1985, 1991
Damiano Cunego  Italy 2004, 2007, 2008
2 Giovanni Brunero  Italy 1923, 1924
Aldo Bini  Italy 1937, 1942
Mario Ricci  Italy 1941, 1945
Jo de Roo  Netherlands 1962, 1963
Franco Bitossi  Italy 1967, 1970
Eddy Merckx  Belgium 1971, 1972
Felice Gimondi  Italy 1966, 1973
Roger De Vlaeminck  Belgium 1974, 1976
Francesco Moser  Italy 1975, 1978
Bernard Hinault  France 1979, 1984
Gianbattista Baronchelli  Italy 1977, 1986
Tony Rominger   Switzerland 1989, 1992
Michele Bartoli  Italy 2002, 2003
Paolo Bettini  Italy 2005, 2006
Philippe Gilbert  Belgium 2009, 2010
Joaquim Rodríguez  Spain 2012, 2013

Winners by nationality[edit]

Wins Country
68  Italy
12  Belgium
11  France
5   Switzerland
4  Ireland
3  Netherlands
2  Spain
1  Lithuania
 United Kingdom

Trittico di Autunno[edit]

Main article: Trittico di Autunno

The Trittico di Autunno (Autumn Trio) is an unofficial trio of cycling classics held in the Lombardy and Piedmont regions of Northern Italy, in early October. Three one-day races, Milano–Torino, the Giro del Piemonte (Tour of Piedmont) and the Tour of Lombardy, are held within a four-day timeframe in the week following the World Championship. Milan-Turin is held on the Thursday after the World Championship, the Giro del Piemonte on Friday and the Tour of Lombardy is the closing race on Sunday. The Tour of Lombardy is the pinnacle, the hardest and unequivocally most important race of this unofficial trio.

All three races have a rich history, dating back more than a century. Milan-Turin, with its first running in 1876, is the oldest classic in the world, three decades older than the Tour of Lombardy. Until 1986, and again from 2005 to 2007, Milan-Turin was organized in the spring. Since 1987 the three races are held as an "Autumn Trio", initially mid-October and since 2012 two weeks earlier. Both Milan-Turin and the Giro del Piemonte have suffered some continuity problems in the past, but are on back on the calendar of 2015.[14] For many, particularly Italian riders, Milan-Turin and the Giro del Piemonte (both 200-km races) are the ultimate races to prepare for the Tour of Lombardy.

Double Milan-San Remo and Tour of Lombardy[edit]

The Tour of Lombardy is one of five Monuments in cycling, one of two Italian Monuments together with Milan–San Remo. Milan-San Remo is called the Spring Classic and considered a sprinters race, whereas the Tour of Lombardy is called the Autumn Classic and considered a climbers race. In total, 21 riders have won both races at least once in their career. The last one to do this was Paolo Bettini who won the Primavera in 2003 and the Tour of Lombardy in 2005 and 2006.

Winning Milan-San Remo and the Tour of Lombardy in the same year is considered as something of a "holy grail" in Italian cycling, dubbed by Italian press as La Doppietta (The Double).[15] Six riders have achieved this feat, on ten occasions. Fausto Coppi did it three consecutive times, Eddy Merckx is the last rider as yet.


Even rarer is the combination of winning all three of Italy's great cycling races, Milan-San Remo, the Tour of Lombardy and the Giro d'Italia in one year. This "Italian Treble" happened twice:


  1. ^ "History of the Giro di Lombardia". 
  2. ^ "Cycling Revealed Timeline". 
  3. ^ a b "Daily Peloton - Pro Cycling News". 
  4. ^ Gianni Pignata (9 November 1973). "Merckx, doping nel "Lombardia"" [Merckx, doping in "Lombardia"]. La Stampa (in Italian) (Editrice La Stampa). p. 19. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  5. ^ "sporza video: Roger De Vlaeminck klopt Eddy Merckx in de Ronde van Lombardije (1974)". sporza. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Cycling News. "Bettini's brother dies". 
  8. ^ "Museo del Ghisallo". Museo del Ghisallo. 
  9. ^ "Muro di Sormano returns to Tour of Lombardy route". Cycling News (Future Publishing Limited). 31 July 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2012. 
  10. ^ Stephen Farrand. "New Giro di Lombardia route unveiled". 
  11. ^ O'Shea, Sadhbh (4 October 2015). "Nibali wins Il Lombardia". (Immediate Media Company). Retrieved 6 October 2015. 
  12. ^ Wynn, Nigel (4 October 2015). "Watch: Vincenzo Nibali’s amazing descending in Il Lombardia". Cycling Weekly (Time Inc. UK). Retrieved 6 October 2015. 
  13. ^ "The Hardest Monument Classic » Irish Peloton". 
  14. ^ agoravox (ed.). "Vogliono cancellare la corsa ciclistica più antica del mondo" (in Italian). Retrieved 1 October 2014. 
  15. ^ "19 marzo 1952 - Milano-Sanremo". 

External links[edit]