The Britannia Times
Strade Bianche - Born from historyPublished on 26th. February 2018
Eroica was forged from a passion and love of cycling historic machines along the roads and tracks of Tuscany, it has grown to be so much more.
Strade Bianche is now a world tour race, finding itself in a prestigious series of classic races such as Tour of Flanders, Amstel Gold and Paris Roubaix. Unusually however, Strade Bianche began as a modern race that emulated much of the feeling that the Eroica Gran Fondo created.
Strade Bianche began in the October of 2007 and the event was immediately thrust into the racing calendar with the DNA of a great Classic since its very first edition. It winds its way around the Tuscan hills surrounding Siena and into the town passing close to Piazza del Campo, the Torre del Mangia and the old town - where the atmosphere is still reminiscent of the past, when the city was one of the world's major trading hubs.
In 2014, the race found its new home as a prestigious season opener and was accepted by fans and followers worldwide into the Spring Classics campaign. Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara holds the record for the most number of wins with victories in 2008, 2012 and 2016.
In 2017 18 teams of men and women lined up to take to on 50km plus of the famed white roads of the area. Those same roads loved by the father of Eroica, Giancarlo Brocci. In 2017 Michal Kwiatkowski took the winning honours in the men's event in a thrilling battle in the final kilometres while Elisa Longo Borghini took a respectable win with panache in the women's event.
This year the event takes place on Saturday 3rd March across a typically undulating and challenging 184km course for the men, 136km for the women's race. Both share the same famous finish into the plaza in the UNESCO world heritage site in the centre of Siena.
It is truly a joy to see such a legacy be formed in contemporary racing from the dusty history of the original Gran Fondo events.
Watch the highlights of last year's Strade Bianchi below.