15th Giro di Lombardia 1919 (Italy)


By Barry Boyce,
CyclingRevealed Historian



Girardengo's 1st "Race of the Falling Leaves" Victory

SPECIAL NOTE: The Giro di Lombardia was known as a flat race on the plains of Lombardia until 1919. Promoters instituted a significant change to the race course with the first inclusion of the 10 km climb to the chapel Madonna del Ghisallo in Magreglio. 

The first post-war Giro di Lombardia in 1919 drew only 44 starters. Cold and wet weather (with snow on the Ghisallo climb) caused chaos from the start in Milan. Defending champion Gaetano Belloni dropped his chain in the opening kms causing a crash with the Pelissier brothers, Henri and Francis. During the hard chase Henri Pelissier was forced to swerve to miss a local tram on the race course. The move caused the two time Lombardia champion to crash again. The Pelissier brothers abandoned the race.

On a snowy climb of the Ghisallo Italian superstar Costante Girardengo rode away from the breakaway and opened a 15 minute lead on Gaetano Belloni (Ita) and Heiri Suter (Sui). The race victory was determined as Costante Girardengo rode into Milan for an eight minute Lombardia victory.

GdL November 2, 1919
256 Km, Milan-Milan

1. Costante GIRARDENGO (Ita) 9h42'01"

2. Gaetano Belloni (Ita) +8'00"
3. Heiri Suter (Sui) +23'00"
Starters: 44
Finishers: 8
Average Speed: 26.390 km/h


Lomb 1918

Lomb 1920

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