Roads to Ride: The Ghisallo

Colle Ghisallo

As the second part in a series exploring the famous roads of cycling, here is the Madonna del Ghisallo climb in Italy. The idea with this weekly series is to discover the road and its place in the world, whether its part in cycling’s folklore or to explore what it is like on a normal day without a race.

The Madonna del Ghisallo was described as “the poor man’s spaceship” by Italian writer Gianni Brera for the way it allowed someone with a bicycle to copy Neil Armstrong and go up to the heavens. It’s not the highest of climbs, perhaps the chapel at the top, a Catholic shrine to cycling, plays its part.

Some places can be significant in sport because of history but this is a climb that raises sports fanaticism to the exponential, propelling memorabilia and history into relics and spiritualism thanks to the chapel, the Pope and aided by sporting history and the stunning views.

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The Moment The Race Was Won: Il Lombardia

Joaquim Rodriguez Lombardia

Joaquim Rodriguez has attacked on the Ello climb to Villa Vergano and pulled out a slender lead over Alberto Contador and Rigoberto Uran. Look closely in the photo and you can see the crowd in the background looking at the chasers as they approach the corner. But by now Rodriguez has the advantage. This was the moment the race was won.

The Muro di Sormano. The first Spanish winner of the race. The race moved to September. The new world champion crashing out. For all the novelty and action this year’s edition might also be remembered for the rain that poured almost all day long.

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The Spin: Il Lombardia Preview

la classica delle foglie morte

A duel between Alberto Contador and Philippe Gilbert on some of the most beautiful roads of Europe? The scenery is guaranteed but we could have a wider cast fighting for the win. An exceptionally hard course with difficult conditions forecast means this race is going to test condition, handling skills and the mind.

Here is a preview of the route, the contenders, with TV times and details of a free stream, the weather forecast and more.

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Who is Oliver Zaugg?

Oliver Zaugg

Swiss rider Oliver Zaugg won today’s race in Lombardia, taking everybody by surprise. But his win wasn’t a lucky break or a fluke, he made the lead group and attacked on the steepest part of the day’s final climb to Villa Vergano and held off any chasers. In recent weeks he’d taken top-10 places in the GP Beghelli and the Giro d’Emilia but is a discreet figure in the bunch.

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Il Lombardia, a preview

The Giro di Lombardia has changed names to Il Lombardia or “the Lombardy” but the format is simple: a long race across hilly terrain with stunning scenery to end the season.

The name change is part of a move by race organisers RCS to rejig their portfolio of races and ensure that there is only one Giro… the Giro d’Italia. So the Giro di Piemonte becomes Gran Piemonte and tomorrow sees Il Lombardia. Here’s a look at the region, the race, the contenders and more…

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100 days until 2012 season

Tour Down Under

There’s 100 days until the 2012 cycling season starts with the Tour Down Under on Sunday 15 January 2012. It’s just a round number but us humans seem to like them.

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Lombardia Preview: how to beat Gilbert

He’s the red hot favourite for Saturday’s Giro di Lombardia. But cycling is a very open sport where favourites only find the odds mildly in their favour. As we saw in the World Championships, you can be the strongest but not get a result: Gilbert tried but ultimately tried too hard. But give the Belgian … Read more