START TIME: 11.15 CEST
FINISH TIME: ~17.15 CEST
After two important mountain stages, stage 15 is another very demanding stage... almost a monument. The route features the main elements of the recent Lombardia editions finishing in Como, with only a few limitations. The first part of this stage is very easy: it starts with a small uncategorized climb to Zimone (4.6 km at 5.1%), which will help creating the break of the day, and then it eases off heading east, becoming a long flat stroll on the Po valley. The first categorized climb only begins at km 164, and it's a famous one: Madonna del Ghisallo (GPM2, 8.6 km at 5.6%), an absolute classic of the Lombardia and Italian cycling in general, hosting the shrine to the patroness of all cyclists. It's a steep climb, whose low average gradient is due to a 3 km long false flat near the top. A very short descent leads to the second GPM of the day, the Colma di Sormano (GPM2, 9.6 km at 6.6%), a very constant climb mostly famous for its Muro, which will not be climbed today, probably due to logistic concerns. Its descent is fast and very technical, and brings to the shores of Lake Como, where the riders will ride 16 km of rolling terrain that does not really favour chasers. After reaching Como itself, only one GPM remains, and it will probably be the decisive one. Civiglio (GPM3, 4.2 km at 9.6%), a recent addition to the Lombardia, is short and very steep, almost always between 9% and 10%. The descent is short but very tricky, and after it the riders will only have to reach the finishing line after the final flat 3.5 km.
Madonna del Ghisallo, GPM2, 8.6 km at 5.6%
The sacred climb of (Italian) cyclists. It's also a pretty tough one, even if it's short.
Colma di Sormano, GPM2, 9.6 km at 6.6%
Mainly famous for its Muro, the narrow shortcut that connects km 5.1 to the top. Today they are not doing it, and what's left is a rather normal climb.
Civiglio, GPM3, 4.2 km at 9.6%
Short and steep, it has decided the last three Lombardia editions that finished in Como. And it will probably decide this stage, too.
What to expect:
I don't think GC contenders will try anything on Ghisallo or Sormano, but no matter what, Civiglio will decide the stage win and might produce solid gaps among the favourites.
The Sanctuary of Madonna del Ghisallo, patroness of all cyclists.