'Goodbye from Bergamo' - seems a fitting title for the last race of the pro cycling season "proper". While riders and fans enjoy the last-day-of-school atmosphere, I was living out a wish that's been in the making for almost 10 years - to chase Il Lombardia myself.
Utter confusion was the look on my face when Alessandro handed me the old newspaper and said it was a gift. Upon closer inspection, I realized I was holding the official program of the 1952 Giro di Lombardia – in mint condition! Once I got over the shock that such a treasure still existed – I couldn’t wait to share it with PEZ-Fans…
VIDEO: It took me a few tries to get it right, but now Milan is one of my favorite cities. Over the years I've honed this mini tour to get my dose of Italy's fashion & industrial capital - which usually happens after a long flight when getting out there is the best way to power through the jetlag and soak in the culture, vibe, and negronis - of this vibrant city.
The Giro di Lombardia was born in 1905, and Giovanni Gerbi – called the red devil – was the first winner. The story of his break – planned in a devilish way, and realized with so much strength – has become a well known legend, which has the taste of a fable both ingenious and malicious.
This Saturday sees the re-scheduled 2020 Giro di Lombardia, one of the oldest Monuments. Ed Hood isn't old enough to remember the first edition in 1905, but has had a romantic relationship with the 'Race of the Falling Leaves' for a long time. He casts his memory back to his first visit to the Northern Italian race in 2007.
Photo Gallery: The big race for last and Heather Morrison is 'Roadside' for the Giro di Lombardia and the sixth race of her Italian autumn week. Bergamo and Como for the best shots of the start and finish under the falling leaves of Lombardia.
Race Report: The 113th edition of the Tour of Lombardy was won by Bauke Mollema. The Trek-Segafredo rider attacked on the penultimate climb of the day, the Civiglio, taking a good gap and then rode solo to his first monument victory. After 38 years, the Netherlands finally has another successor to Hennie Kuiper. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) was second and Egan Bernal (Ineos) third.
Race Preview: The last big Classic of the 2019 season (if you ignore Sunday's Paris-Tours), Il Giro di Lombardia, rolls out of Bergamo on Saturday morning for 243 beautiful kilometres of racing to finish in Como. Lombardy is an iconic monument, a race that all pro riders would want in their palmarès. Ed looks at the history, course and who is hot for the win on the shores of Lago di Como.