Starting off from Piacenza Expo, after about 8 kilometres towards Val Trebbia, the riders will join the strada statale to Gossolengo.
After leaving Gossolengo behind they will cross the Trebbia river on the bridge in Tuna and reach Rivalta.
Then they will take a right near the castle where Conte Zanardi Landi resides, towards Gazzola, passing through the famous ‘valloncini’ that the local amateurs know so well.
Gazzola is 30 kilometres from the start; then on to Agazzano and Piozzano.
On this part of the route the riders will get their first taste of the climbs that will prove to be a challenge to the group.
The hard part begins right after Piozzano: after a few kilometres, in the small village of S.Gabriele, it is where the Granfondo Colnago welcomes all riders.
It is here that GanFondo Colnago makes the initial novelty: instead of passing from Vidiano, we turn left and climb steadily towards Groppo Arcelli, the beautiful scenery takes the riders along to Passo Caldarola, on a road with alternating small slopes and short but tough climbs (14%).
Once at the Passo Caldarola, the riders will carefully proceed downhill back to the Val Trebbia region to the village of Mezzano Scotti. Then back on the statale 45 towards Piacenza. A few kilometres ahead lies Perino, one of the most appreciated towns in the entire valley.
After a few Kilometres, the riders will reach the point in which they’ll decide which course to take: the longest route to Passo S. Barbara, or the climb that takes them to Passo del Cerro.
Those who choose the former, the Gran Fondo course, will face climbs for about 18 kilometres. This will take them to the highest point of the Granfondo Colnago, its cima Coppi.
The 12 kilometres from the crossroads to the Passo has many stretches at a gradient of over 10% with peaks of 14%, and a few very short moments of relative quiet. The beauty of the surroundings will help alleviate the riders’ difficulties in the last kilometres of the climb.
From the top of the cima Coppi starts the descent towards Pradovera, to be taken very carefully; in a few kilometres the undulating road to Aglio and from there to Passo del Cerro, about 13 kilometres at an average gradient of 5% that could be very tough on the legs, coming on the back of almost 2,000 metres of climbs and descents. This climb isn’t particularly difficult except for a short stretch at 12% three kilometres short of the Passo.
Once at the Passo, an 8 kilometres long descent to Bettola, in the Val Nure region, and from there 10 more kilometres, at high speed, to Ponte dell’ Olio for the last tough hurdle of the course: the famous Bagnolo ascent, which always terrifies the local amateurs.
While this climb is steep it is not prohibitively so (12-13%); what sets it apart from the others is that it’s a long straight road with only three curves; you may get the impression that you’ll never see the end of it, even if it’s only 1.3 kilometres, and the last tough stretch of the day.
From this point the road continues with no difficulties until the long descent to Nibbiano and the statale 45, and the 19 kilometres back to Piacenza Expo, where a well deserved shower and a plate of pasta will be waiting after such a long day.