L’Eroica is a race celebrating the very best of cycling heritage. You can only race on a bicycle made before 1987 and whilst wearing vintage gear, participants dress in merino wool sweaters, leather shoes and caps with raised visors. L’Eroica, which means “the heroic” in Italian, takes place always the first Sunday of October. It offers four routes of increasing difficulty, from 38 km/ 24 miles to 205 km /127 miles. The cycling enthusiast Giancarlo Brocci conceived of the race to raise the profile of the gravel roads called “strada bianche” used in the tour and keep them from being resurfaced with asphalt.
Since its modest 1997 debut with 92 competitors, L’Eroica has evolved into a model for environmental sustainability. Today, thanks to the race, most of these roads are well marked and tended, so cyclists can ride whenever they want, all year long.
Eroica official web site
The itinerary starts in Gaiole in Chianti, winding through vineyards to reach just outside Siena’s city walls. Here, while pedalling down unpaved roads flaked by cypress trees enter in magic world of the Crete. After Murlo and Etruscan’s traces begins climb to Castiglion del Bosco reaching a spectacular lookout of Montalcino, surrounded by venerable Brunello vineyards. Now pleasant descend towards val d’Orcia and take road for Cosona, one of the most breathtaking country roads. Next is San Giovanni d’ Asso homeland of White truffles, after Pieve a salti and Buonconvento, returns to Crete and take the stupendous Monte Sante Marie road: the real essence of Siena’s countryside. Back to Chianti via Castelnuovo Berardenga, Vagliagli. From Radda admire the view of the Chianti at its best pedalling toward Vertine, the final masterpiece in stone you encounter prior to ride back into main square of Gaiole. Most of these roads are in our Tuscany bike tours We purchased a vintage bike – at charity auction for Libera: association against mafia – the bike belonged to Amerigo Severini cyclocross Italian champion for 3 years – Amerigo and his bike joined the Eroica in 2006. We are collecting people interested in our Eroica bike tour: training for Eroica for a 5/6 days and join the race on October 4th 2015. Soon on website, 10 places available – enquire at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cicloposse Team, December 2014
- Carbon fiber is not allowed. There are rules about what si the equipment admitted: steel-frame road racers built before 1987 and slim, low-profile tires are among the requirements. That means bumpy stages are hell on the tires and falls are common.
- There are no official winners at L’Eroica, at the end, riders are greeted not with a medal, but local food such as ribollita vegetable soupe , Tuscan salami and good glass of Chianti classic wine.