On the route of the Giro di Lombardia,
between Canzo and Regatola,
in a little town called Magreglio,
there’s a chapel named Madonna del Ghisallo.
In 1632, a count named Ghisallo was being attacked by bandits
when all of a sudden he saw an image of Virgin Mary.
He ran towards her and that’s how he saved himself from the bandits.
Then people built a chapel in his honor, with the name Madonna del Ghisallo.
In 1948, Pope Pius XII lighted a candle in Rome and he brought it to the chapel.
Since that year the Madonna del Ghisallo is the patroness of all cyclists.
Everybody in Italy knows that she watches over
all the riders on all the roads of the world.
Next to the chapel there’s a small museum with pictures,
jerseys and bikes from old and deceased riders.
The Passo del Ghisallo has been a part of stages in the Giro d’Italia
for quite a few times, but not for one single year
has it been left out of the Giro di Lombardia.
The riders always pass the mountain when they still have 50 kilometres to go.
Every year hundreds of people climb the mountain
to see the riders pass the chapel.
With the cold wind on the top and falling leaves all around,
it’ll always remain a classic moment in the race.
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