The Granfondo Don Guanella…along the roads of Il Lombardia is a novelty within the Granfondo circuits for two main reasons: it’s value in the cycling community of Lake Como and it’s being the first-ever event in connection to the Giro di Lombardia, pedaling along some of the most historic roads that play a huge role even today in the cycling world.
Cycling has always played a part in the Casa Don Guanella of Lecco on Lake Como (Lecco), as the community director, Don Agostino Frason (Father Agostino), is an avid cyclist himself. Surrounding him is a growing community of cyclists from the region, where cycling is a beloved and highly practiced sport, representing the spirit of the area’s population; one that’s used to working hard and making sacrifices to reach their goals, which is an attitude very similar to that present in the competitive sport of cycling.
It is from this spirit that the idea for the Granfondo was born, to ride and work hard for yourself but also for others. All registration proceeds will go toward the continued construction and improvements on the Don Guanella farmstead, an agricultural and social project for the welcoming, care, education, and insertion of alienated teenagers in the workforce.
Starting from the lakeside in Lecco, all the roads that you’ll be riding on pass by mythical places in the cycling world: the Madonna del Ghisallo, a symbolic climb since the beginning of ilLombarida, a mountain pass where the cycling champions have left their mark and helped create the history of the sport of cycling, putting their personal donations on display in the small sanctuary of the Madonna (protector of cyclists) del Ghisallo, which is right next to the Cycling Museum. This is the first major climb of the day and while overall the climb is not too hard (10.6km at 5.2%) there are some steep sections at the start.
The Colma di Sormano is the other main climb of the Granfondo, also very important in the history of Il Lombarida with the infamous “Muro di Sormano” running parallel to us up to Sormano, a climb so difficult that it has been avoided in the Lombardia route for more than 50 years now (and also for us this year!). This is a shorter climb but very steep in places (7km at average 9%) and is probably the most challenging part of the ride.
We’ll be riding through fascinating and picturesque towns of Lake Como, like the famous Bellagio, pearl of the Lake. There are many points where the views will take your breathe away as much as the climbs!
After following the lake back round to near Lecco, the final part of the route will take us to the hilly Brianza region, repeating the same finish as the Lombardia in 2011, 2012, and 2013: A short, yet steep hill at 19% awaits for the final kick before descending back to Lecco and finishing along the Lake.
Solidarity, the beauty of Lake Como, and the history of cycling: live the experience riding with us!