Is it october already? Look! This is the program of Il Lombardia, the race of the falling leaves. (Almost.)

It’s always nice to see, when the organizers of a Grand Tour try to draw attention to other races,  for example to the Italian autumn classics, like it was the case on the first stage (the climb of the opening ITT is usually the finale of Giro dell’Emilia).  I know, that many European (especially Italian ) hard core cyclingfans know Il Lombardia very well, but don’t forget, that the GTs have a much bigger and a quite different audience.

The stage today is 232 km long and contains 3 significant climbs, all in the second half of the day. First of them is the famous Madonna del Ghisallo (there is a cycling museum on the top!), 8,6 km long with an average slope of 5,6% (max 14%).

The second uphill comes 16 km later, the Colma di Somano  (9,6 km à 6,6%, max. 12,0%)

And finally the Civiglio (4,2 km à 9,6%, max. 14,0%), where Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) rode downhill at  Il Lombardia in 2015 so insanely.

Although the finale isn’t the same as in 2015, it’s still worth to talk a bit about the situation of the GC-contenders. Nibali is one of the best downhill cyclist in the current peloton, he might try to steal some important seconds from his rivals. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) is good either, when it comes to a descent, and he is only 7″ behind the pink guy,  Richard Carapaz (Movistar), who is much better when the road goes up, than when it goes down. I’m curious, what kind of tactic the teams of these riders will choose.


Nevertheless, this stage is ment for the breakaway riders.

Tony Gallopin (Ag2R)  wants to win a stage so eagerly at this Giro, he was in the escape already in the recent days. The same is for his teammate, Alexis Vulliermoz, I think, this stage suits a bit better him, than Gallopin.

A break? Somebody mentioned a break? Thomas de Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) is always an option, of course, and don’t forget Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) or Gianluca Brambilla (Trek-Segafredo) either.

It wouldn’t be a surprise, when Pello Bilbao or Ion Izagirre (both Astana) would earn a success today. And also one of the riders of Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec will be the part of the breakaway for sure.

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