The Giro di Lombardia is one of cycling’s most historic races. Always held in the Autumn and known as the Race of the Falling Leaves, the event is one of cycling’s five monuments and, while the modern era has seen later races added to the calendar, Lombardia will always symbolise the end of the professional season. As such, for all but the few racers who aim to win the event, the atmosphere is incredibly relaxed with the riders and the event as a whole being very approachable and welcoming. It is the perfect setting to follow and experience the excitement of a professional bike race.
The tour began on a Friday with guests arriving into Milan and transferred up to Lake Como. The warm hospitality, wonderful food and stunning beauty surrounding La Fuga’s base in Bellagio, on the shores of the lake made it the perfect location for the weekend. Situated at the foot of the races’ iconic climb, the Madonna del Ghisallo, the luxury hotel used year after year by La Fuga made for the perfect location for guests to soak in the atmosphere that surrounds the lake and as a build up to the race the next day.
Saturday included a trip to the event start in Milan in order to experience the race village, pro bikes, team buses and get up close and personal with some of cycling’s greatest names. Courtesy of Garmin, a pre-arranged VIP visit to the Garmin Cervelo Pro Cycling Team bus made for a great experience for our guests. British professional Dan Lloyd provided some real insight into team race tactics plus the lifestyle and demands faced by a cycling professional. Dan performed some fantastic work early in the race to support and protect his team leader Dan Martin (who finished 2nd overall, their best result in the race to date). Sadly, Dan crashed late in the race and suffered a broken collar bone. We wish him a speedy recovery.
Later in the day the group rode to the summit of the Madonna del Ghisallo, often the key turning point in the overall outcome of the race, to watch the final stages. Hundreds of fans laced the roadside making for a truly electric atmosphere as the Italian Vicenzo Nibali led the race over the top of the climb. The group then enjoyed a descent back to the hotel for a delicious meal including fresh fish from Lake Como, caught that day by the restaurant owner.
On Sunday, the day was filled with riding the spectacular roads and climbs surrounding the lake plus a ferry journey across to the opposite shore. While this year’s race was routed up the Colma di Sormano climb, in earlier years, the hard men of cycling were sent up the Muro di Sormano – a ‘short cut’ that reduces the final 6 km segment of the climb to only 2 km and literally means Sormano’s Wall. The Muro rises more than 300m, averaging over 15% (max 26%) and for the majority of the group marked the hardest climb that any had ever ridden. At the top of the Muro the guests enjoyed a traditional lunch overlooking the lake.
Monday was departure day but not before Richard and Mark plus a few others took in an early morning ride before being taken to Milan to catch the flight home.
Overall, everyone had a fantastic experience taking in the breath-taking scenery, Italian country and the excitement that surrounds a Pro Tour cycle race.
Mark Williams and Richard Burrows, both from south-west London were the lucky winners of a competition held jointly by Sigma Sport, Garmin and La Fuga, and joined the other La Fuga guests for the weekend. To book your place on next year’s Giro di Lombardia Weekend contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org/beta