Muro di Sormano

For over 40 years the Muro di Sormano had languished in near disuse and disrepair after a rise to notoriety as short and steep as the climb itself at the beginning of the 1960s.

First used in the 1960 edition of the Giro di Lombardia after the other renowned climb in the region, Il Ghisallo couldn’t guarantee the breaking up of the race any more, the organisers turned to the almost goat track like Muro di Sormano. Due to its unimaginable gradient, over 25% in sections and its average of 17% over the 1.7-kilometre climb it instantly split opinions over its use in the race with some calling the famous cycling monument a farce for using it. In 1962, the Muro figured on the Lombardy route for the third straight year, and fans flocked to what they now knew was cycling’s most spectacular circus. Which would have been fine, except that whole troupes of tifosi (fans) had now come with the sole aim of pushing their favourite rider over the summit. This was the final straw for critics of the race as they removed it from the route the following year.

The Muro reopened in 2006 as a local group of riders raised 150,000 euros to resurface and reinvent the climb. The Muro di Sormano is now fully resurfaced with two kilometres of beautifully laid asphalt. It is also closed to all motorized vehicles and has markings of every metre you climb, as well as names and split times of the record times of the fastest ascents to the top of this awe-inspiring peak.

It has now returned to the race that it found its fame as a crucial climb in the Giro di Lombardia and can be climbed by amateurs all year round.

The Climb in Detail

“Torriani had created a monster..... A 2km high spiral staircase.....A torment...A joke. Impossible. Absurd" - Mountian High

The Ascents

‘A two-kilometre-high spiral staircase… A torment. A joke. Impossible. Absurd,’ swooned Procycling magazine of the Muro di Sormano, not skimping on rhetoric, but accurately describing the awful reality lurking in the verdant peaks above Lake Como. The Muro di Sormano has sections of 25% and its average gradient of 17% combined with the length of 1.7-kilometre makes it one of the hardest climbs in Italy.


Routes nearby

Alternative routes to the Ghisallo starting from Canzo located further south, as well as the climb to Sormano and the foot of the Muro starting from Canova, are both quite challenging climbs themselves.

Its place at the Giro di Lombardia

First introduced in 1960 by Giro di Lombardia race organiser Vincenzo Torriani the climb split opinions and only lasted three races before being removed from the route. The Muro di Sormano has since returned featuring in 2012 with French rider Romain Bardet leading over the summit, although the eventual winner of the race was the Spaniard Joaquim Rodriguez. 

"I screamed 'Puncia! at one fan, which means 'push' in my local dialect, but he confused it with 'punch'. 'Sorry' he said, 'I've only got Coca-Cola'. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry" - Ottavio Cogliati 

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Lecco Province (BGY,LUG)
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