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Il Lombardia: Supporting the USA Cycling Foundation

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Pre-dating the Giro d’Italia by four years, Il Lombardia has always been a firm favorite in the hearts and minds of cycling fans, but more than any other monument, the race has also been something of a chameleon. The first edition was held in 1905, starting and finishing in Milan and since then it has hopped around the region with abandon, even crossing the border into Switzerland.

In the golden age of Italian cycling, when the roads were ruled by Alfredo Binda, Gino Bartali and Fausto Coppi, it was a relatively flat race, but a switch to Como for the finish in 1961 gave the race the character we know today, defined by tough, short climbs around one of Europe’s most idyllic lakes, beloved by poets like Percy Bysshe Shelley and Lord Byron.

The race’s dramatic finale combines the the tortuous Muro di Surmano, one of the most feared climbs in Europe, with the iconic climb to Madonna del Ghisallo, which rises out of Bellagio and winds up from the lake through a succession of hairpin bends. The crest of the climb is instantly recognisable for its chapel, which has become a temple to the sport and a shrine to its greatest protagonists.

This unique trip is a great way to support the USA Cycling Foundation and the future of American cycling while also getting to experience one of the most special bike races in the world. Along with the full inGamba team, offering our unrivaled level of support and knowhow, this adventure to northern Italy will be hosted by Olympic medallist and all-round American cycling legend Mari Holden.

Included With Trip:

  • All lodging*
  • All food and beverages**
  • Pinarello Dogma F Disk with SRAM RED eTap AXS
  • Daily Bike Wash
  • Custom Castelli × inGamba cycling kit
  • Daily post-ride massage from a professional soigneur
  • Laundry service for cycling clothing
  • NB: Price does not include entry to the Gran Fondo Il Lombardia.


*Pre/post-trip lodging is not included
**Beverages ordered by guests beyond normal amounts and away from group activities will incur additional charges

Trip at a Glance

Start Location:

Milan

Finish Location:

Milan

Days Riding:

5

Group Size:

8 – 12

Total Distance:

358km

Total Elevation:

6,869m

Longest Day:

Day 5. Granfondo Il Lombardia. 111km

Biggest Climbing Day:

Day 5. Granfondo Il Lombardia. 1,700m

...

Day by Day Breakdown

1

Polaveno Loop

Our first ride is an easy spin to shake off the cobwebs, but it’s also very pretty, heading east and south along Riserva Natural Reserve Sebino. This is the time to make sure everything with your bike is perfect – if something’s not quite right, let a mechanic or a guide know and we’ll be sure to fix it before the tough riding begins.
2

Iseo Loop

This route takes us along the Lago D’Iseo, one of the most charming lakes in Lombardy. This lake is what the Italian Alpine region is famous for. Fantastic views, lovely little villages, rolling hills. And because it is not as well known as its bigger neighbours, this lake still has the undisturbed quality remembered from when there were fewer tourists.
3

Lake Iseo to Lake Como

This point-to-point route brings us to our new base at Lake Como. Just shy of 90 kilometers, it should test your stamina, but also reward your efforts with some stunning countryside and plenty of quiet roads. The most challenging part of the ride will take place in the first half, when Passo di Zambla will be in front of us. It is 13.9km long and bridges 814 vertical meters with an average gradient of 5.8%. From there, it’s all downhill until we reach our new hotel.
4

Madonna del Ghisallo and the pro race passage

Legend has it that in the 12th century, the Count of Ghisallo was saved from bandits by a vision of the Madonna. Adopted by travellers and then by cyclists in the 20th century, the virgin was eventually anointed as the sport’s patron saint in the 1940s, when the local Jesuit priest, Father Ermelindo Vigano, convinced Pope Pius XII to make a formal decree. The jewel in the crown of Il Lombardia, the climb of Madonna del Ghisallo has featured on all but one edition, way back in 1905.
5

Granfondo Il Lombardia

The classic Tour of Lombardy, the Race of the Falling Leaves. Starting and ending near Como, the route takes us to the iconic Ghisallo, the 20% plus Muro di Sormano and several other famous climbs of the pro race. Lake Como is the perfect place to end your season.
6

Departure

This is our final morning together and after a leisurely breakfast, it will be time to say goodbye until we meet again. Transfers to the airport will be arranged by our hard-working crew but if you’re planning on staying a few extra days, let us know if we can help with reservations or a few recommendations!

YOUR Guides

Eros Poli

The Champion

The night before Eros Poli took victory atop Mont Ventoux he couldn’t sleep. It was not like he was dreaming of victory or even had the slightest idea the next day's stage would change his life forever. It was just that it was hot. Unbearably, unsleepably hot in his less-than stellar French hotel. His roommate had taken his mattress off the bed and was sleeping on the small balcony outside their room. And the man who would shortly become known as Monsieur Ventoux was watching football, Italy vs. Brazil in the World Cup final, to be exact. Italy lost. The following morning as Eros dragged his weary, tired legs out of bed and down the stairs, as there was no lift, James Brown came into his head. “I feel good, I knew that I would now,” started to repeat over and over in his head. As it would the rest of the day. He felt good and the rest, as they say, is history.

Mari Holden

Community Director, USA Cycling

Mari is a legend of American cycling and is one of the most admired ambassadors in the sport today. She won a silver medal in the 2000 Olympic time trial in Australia before going one better and taking gold at the world time trial championship later that year in France. With  a lifetime of experience as an elite athlete and team director, Mari joined USA Cycling in 2019 and is working hard to create the next generation of great American cyclists.

BIKE OPTION

PINARELLO DOGMA F

FRAMESET:

Pinarello Dogma F

COCKPIT:

ZIPP Service Course SL

GRUPPO:

SRAM RED eTap AXS

PEDALS:

Speedplay (or your own)

SADDLE:

Selle Italia

WHEELSET:

Zipp 303 S Carbon Tubeless

TIRES:

Vittoria Corsa

BOTTLE CAGES:

Elite Custom Race

BIDON:

Elite Corsa Team

COMPUTER:

Garmin Edge 1030