Giro di Lombardia
The first Tour of Lombardy was held in 1905, but was then known as the Milan-Milan. The name was changed in 1907. one man, Fausto Coppi, has been a five time winner (1946-1949, 1954). Coppi dominated in his four consecutive wins, finishing far ahead of the field. only two non-Italians have won three times: Henri Pelissier for France, and Sean Kelly of Ireland. The 2009 winner was Philippe Gilbert of Belgium.
An 8.6 km ascent of the hill of Madonna del Ghisallo near the end of the course has become famous with a shrine, blessed by Pope Pius XII in 1949, and museum of cycling. With a grade of 14% in sections, the hill is a challenge for even the best riders. The overall race is about 240 kilometers, but the exact course has changed over the years with various starting or ending locations including Bergamo, Cuneo, Milan, Monza, Sesto San Giovanni, and Varese.
The current route begins in Varese and extends east to Como. From there it proceeds north around Como Lake to Sorico, then south and northwest around an arm of the lake to onno. From there the climb begins over Ghisallo, with the course descending into Como for the finish.