Il Lombardia Finally Has its own Sportive
by Holly Blades
The final classic of the cycling season finally has a sportive to go with it. Il Lombardia, the Race of the Falling Leaves, is one of the most loved pro races of the year and a final chance of glory for the top riders in the peloton. From 2017, amateur riders can now also finish their season on the shores of Lake Como for the first ever accompanying sportive to Il Lombardia - the Granfondo Don Guanella which launched this week.
Every year in early October the cycling world descends on Lake Como for one of the most romantic races of the year - Il Lombardia, the Race of the Falling Leaves. This is one of the 5 Monuments of the year and a race that all pros want to win. The route changes slightly each year but is centred around the classic climb of the Passo del Ghisallo past the famous cycling church and the even steeper ramps around Sormano. The backdrop of the stunning lake make this one of the most visually attractive routes in pro cycling and is a key date on the calendar for all cycling fans.
Launched this week is a sportive to accompany the pro race which gives us amateurs a chance to ride over these classic climbs and experience the beauty of Lake Como in autumn. The Granfondo Don Guanella is 128km starting and ending in Lecco with 2,100m of climbing including the Passo del Ghisallo & Colma di Sormano.
The event will take place on October 8th 2017, one day after the pro race making this the perfect season ending weekend. "So many of our riders have been asking for this event and we are really excited that finally there is a sportive for Il Lombardia in 2017" says Phil Sears, founder of specialist travel booking site Sportive Breaks.
All proceeds of the event will go to the Don Guanella farmstead - a local project to give skills and opportunities to troubled teenagers that is supported brilliantly by the cycling community in Lake Como.
Joining the amateurs on the day will be a few famous ex pros who now live in the local area including former Tour de France winner Cadel Evans and local legends Claudio Chiappucci, Gianni Bugno & Giancarlo Perini.
The route was a long time in the planning. One of the route designers is local guide Luca Negri "We wanted the route to be a true testament to Il Lombardia with both the classic climbs and a few lesser known that often shape the race with some picturesque sectors along the lake".
With the launch of the Grandfondo Don Guanella, amateur riders now have a full season of events where they can follow in the wheels of the pros from the Spring Classics to the Grand Tours and finally with a Monument to finish off the season in style. Sportive Breaks are partnering with the amazing bike hotel "Il Perlo Panorama" and NH Lecco Pontevecchio to offer riders an amazing weekend of watching the pros and riding the sportive from £349 for 3 nights including hotels, accommodation & sportive entry.
See https://sportivebreaks.com/sportives/il-lombardia-granfondo-don-guanella/ for more information.
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