Varese-Bergamo 250 km, via the climbs of: Olgiate Comasco 415m - 34.5 km Valbrona 494m - 72.9 km Madonna del Ghisallo 754m - 94.7 km Colle Brianza 558m - 125.1 km Roncola 854m - 157.0 km Colle Valpiana 989m - 180.0 km Colle de Gallo 753m - 230.0 km Varese 250.0 km
1987 Moreno Argentin (Ita) 1988 Charly Mottet (Fra) 1989 Tony Rominger (Swi) 1990 Gilles Delion (Fra) 1991 Sean Kelly (Ire) 1992 Tony Rominger (Swi) 1993 Pascal Richard (Swi) 1994 Vladislav Bobrik (Rus) 1995 Gianni Faresin (Ita) 1996 Andrea Tafi (Ita)
Fausto Coppi (Ita) 5 Alfredo Binda (Ita) 4
The start of the 91st Giro di Lombardia will be on Saturday at Varese at 10.00 am the route goes over 250 km and is identical to the 1996 edition which was won by Andrea Tafi, with the climbs of Ghisallo (km 94), Colle Brianza (km 125), Roncola-Valpiana (km 160) & Colle Gallo (km 220).
Michele Bartoli, Davide Rebellin and Andrea Tafi come home to Italy this weekend for one last bid to wrench this season's World Cup title from Rolf Sorensen of Denmark.
The Italian trio start Saturday's 250 km Tour of Lombardy within sight in the overall standings of leader Sorensen, whose season is over because of injury.
Bartoli, who closed the gap on the Dane when he picked up 12 points in the last World Cup event -- the Paris-Tours race earlier this month -- is the best-placed challenger.
With 240 points in the standings to Sorensen's 275, the MG-Techogym rider needs a top five finish in the last World Cup race of the season to deprive him of the title.
Rebellin, who shot back into contention by winning the Swiss Grand Prix in August, and Tafi, who won here last year, sit a little further back with 214 and 212 points respectively.
Ukraine's Andrei Chmil and Britian's Max Sciandri, first and second respectively in the Paris-Tours, also have outside chances of overall World Cup victory.
Saturday's 91st Tour of Lombardy starts in Varese, in the heart of the northern Italian lakes, and finishes in Bergamo, east of Milan.
The main climbs are in the second half of the race, starting with the 558-metre Colle Brianza after 125 kms.
The riders then face the toughest ascent of the day at the Colle Roncolo, rising to 989 metres at the Colle Valpiana, just north of Bergamo.
The route then veers away from the city to the short but steep Colle del Gallo, just 30 km from the end, before looping back into Bergamo for the finish.
The battle for the World Cup title aside, Saturday's race will feature many of the competitors from the world championships in San Sebastian, including men's road race winner Laurent Brochard of France and compatriots Richard Virenque and Laurent Jalabert.
Bo Hamburger, who took silver behind Brochard in Spain, can do his compatriot Sorensen a favour by edging out the Italians in what is likely to be a sprint finish in Bergamo.
1. Laurent Jalabert (Fra) ONCE 5.48.44 (43,012 km/h) 2. Paolo Lanfranchi (Ita) Mapei-GB s.t. 3. Francesco Casagrande (Ita) Saeco s.t. 4. Michele Bartoli (Ita) MG-Technogym 0.03 5. Paolo Valoti (Ita) Cantina 1.07 6. Axel Merckx (Bel) Polti 1.30 7. Andrea Tafi (Ita) Mapei-GB 1.31 8. Davide Rebellin (Ita) Francaise des Jeux 1.32 9. Wladimir Belli (Ita) Brescialat 2.21 10. Alessandro Bertolini (Ita) MG-Technogym 11. Gianluca Bortolami (Ita) Festina-Lotus 12. Laurent Brochard (Fra) Festina-Lotus 13. Alessandro Baronti (Ita) Asics 14. Laurent Roux (Fra) TVM 15. Scott Sunderland (Aus) GAN 16. Melchior Mauri (Spa) ONCE 17. Maximilian Sciandri (GB) Francaise des Jeux 18. Bo Hamburger (Den) TVM 19. Franco Ballerini (Ita) Mapei-GB 20. Bert Dietz (Ger) Telekom 21. Beat Zberg (Swi) Mercatone-Uno 22. Sergio Barbero (Ita) Mercatone-Uno 23. Thibout (Fra) 24. Oscar Pellicioli (Ita) Mercatone-Uno 25. Gianluca Valoti (Ita) Polti all s.t. 26. Simeoni (Ita) 27. Richard Virenque (Fra) 28. Mauro Gianetti (Swi) 29. Gianni Faresin (Ita) 4.17 30. Gianni Bugno (Ita) Mapei 4.17 31. Alex Zülle (Swi) ONCE 32. Christian Henn (Ger) Telekom 6.10 33. Cedric Vasseur (Fra) GAN 34. Celestino (Ita) 35. Maurizio Fondriest (Ita) Cofidis 6.10 36. M. Zberg (Swi) 37. Serpellini (Ita) 38. Piotr Ugrumov (Rus) 39. Erik Breukink (Ned) Rabobank 40. Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank 41. Cattai (Ita) 42. Jeker (Swi) 43. Jan (Fra) 44. Volpi (Ita) 45. Brignoli (Ita) 46. Chiurato (Ita) 47. Noč (Ita) 48. Mazzanti (Ita) 49. Puttini (Swi) 50. Teteriuk (Kaz) 10.50 51. Luco Scinto (Ita) 52. Moerenhout (Ned) 53. Bessy (Fra) 54. Leanizbarrutia (Spa) 55. Pascal Richard (Swi) Casino 56. Dolci (Ita) 173 starters 56 finishersSince 1995, the Tour of Lombardy has been raced between Varese and Bergamo. Jalabert's winning time at an average speed of 43,012 was faster than Gianni Faresin in 1995 (avs 42.116 km/h) and Andrea Tafi in 1996 (avs 42,642)
1. Michele Bartoli (Ita) MG-Technogym 280 points 2. Rolf Sorensen (Den) Rabobank 275 3. Andrea Tafi (Ita) Mapei-GB 240 4. Davide Rebellin (Ita) Francaise des Jeux 238 5. Laurent Jalabert (Fra) ONCE 214 6. Andrei Tchmil (Rus) Lotto 212 7. Maximilian Sciandri (GB) Francaise des Jeux 192 8. Beat Zberg (Swi) Mercatone-Uno 140 9. Albert Elli (Ita) 120 10. Gianluca Bortolami (Ita) Festina-Lotus 115 11. Davide Casaratto (Ita) Scrigno 112 12. Alexander Gontchenkov (Rus) Roslotto 106 12. Jo Planckaert (Bel) Lotto 106 14. Henk Vogels (Australia) GAN 101 15. Johan Museeuw (Bel) Mapei 95 16. Andrea Ferrigato (Ita) Roslotto 90 17. Richard Virenque (Fra) Festina 68 18. Laurent Roux (Fra) TVM 67 19. Mauro Gianetti (Swi) Francaise des Jeux 65 20. Franco Ballerini (Ita) Mapei-GB 59 Note: Race organisers said Bortolami's 115 points remained unofficial because he had not competed in enough World Cup races during the season to be included in the final standings.
1. La Francaise des Jeu (Fra) 82 points 2. Mapei-GB (Ita) 57 3. TVM (Ned) 48 4. Festina (Fra) 42 5. Rabobank (Ned) 42 6. Lotto (Bel) 41 7. Telekom (Ger) 40 8. Team Polti (Ita) 31 9. Gan (Fra) 26 10. Scrigno-Gaerne (Ita) 24 12. MG-Technogym (Ita) 17 16. Asics-CGA (Ita) 12 Previous Team Winners: 1989 PDM 1990 PDM 1991 Panasonic 1992 Panasonic 1993 GB-MG 1994 GB-MG 1995 Mapei-GB 1996 Mapei-GB 1997 La Francaise des Jeux
Bartoli had entered the final event of the series needing a top five finish to overhaul the Dane, who missed the 250-km race from Varese to Bergamo due to injury.
The Italian ignored several breaks from the pelaton as it wound eastwards through the northern Italian lake district over the tough Colle Brianza and Colle Valpiana climbs.
Thirty kilometres from the finish, Bartoli, perhaps sensing that Laurent Jalabert was the man in form, stuck to the Frenchman's wheel when he broke from the peloton on the Colle de Gallo.
Italy's Paolo Lanfranchi and Francesco Casagrande also went with them on the descent into Bergamo.
The pack failed to respond and the four riders opened up a minute's lead giving Bartoli the space he needed to assure himself overall World Cup victory.
When the group approached the finish, the 27-year-old from Pisa left the other three riders to contest the sprint while he free-wheeled over the line in fourth -- taking one last look over his shoulder as he did so.
Jalabert won the sprint to claim his second victory in Italy in four days following his success in the Milan-Turin race on Wednesday.
Lanfranchi pipped Casagrande for second with the first three riders all clocking five hours 48 minutes and 45 seconds -- a record for the Tour of Lombardy.
Bartoli's fourth-place finish earned him 40 points to give him a total for the season of 280, five more than Sorensen.
Italy's Andrea Tafi, who finished seventh, was third overall on 240 points ahead of compatriot Davide Rebellin on 238 and Jalabert on 214.
Saturday's result was a bitter blow for Sorensen, who has twice before finished third in the World Cup.
He had built up a commanding overall lead over the summer but fell in a minor race just before the Paris-Tours classic earlier this month, injuring his hand.
The Dane was in Bergamo on Saturday to see Bartoli deprive him of victory in the last round of the series.
Bartoli becomes the fourth Italian to win the World Cup following successes for Giani Bugno, Maurizio Fondriest and Gianluca Bortalami.
1905 Gerbi 1906 Brambilla 1907 Garrigou 1908 Faber 1909 Cuniolo 1910 Micheletto 1911 H. Pelissier 1912 Oriani 1913 H. Pelissier 1914 Bordin 1915 Belloni 1916 Torricelli 1917 Thys 1918 Belloni 1919 Girardengo 1920 H. Pelissier 1921 Girardengo 1922 Girardengo 1923 Brunero 1924 Brunero 1925 Binda 1926 Binda 1927 Binda 1928 Belloni 1929 Fossati 1930 M. Mara 1931 Binda 1932 Negrini 1933 Piemontesi 1934 Guerra 1935 Mollo 1936 Bartali 1937 Bini 1938 Cinelli 1939 Bartali 1940 Bartali 1941 Ricci 1942 Bini 1945 Ricci 1946 Coppi 1947 Coppi 1948 Coppi 1949 Coppi 1950 Soldani 1951 L. Bobet 1952 Minardi 1953 Landi 1954 Coppi 1955 Maule 1956 Darrigade 1957 Ronchini 1958 Defilippis 1959 Van Looy 1960 Daems 1961 Taccone 1962 De Roo 1963 De Roo 1964 Motta 1965 Simpson 1966 Gimondi 1967 Bitossi 1968 Van Springel 1969 Monseré 1970 Bitossi 1971 Merckx 1972 Merckx 1973 Gimondi 1974 R. De Vlaeminck 1975 F. Moser 1976 R. De Vlaeminck 1977 G.B. Baronchelli 1978 F. Moser 1979 Hinault 1980 De Wolf 1981 Kuiper 1982 Saronni 1983 Kelly 1984 Hinault 1985 Kelly 1986 G.B. Baronchelli 1987 Argentin 1988 Mottet 1989 Rominger 1990 Delion 1991 Kelly 1992 Rominger 1993 Richard 1994 Bobrik 1995 Faresin 1996 Tafi 1997 Jalabert