Strade Bianche Gran Fondo

I like to think of myself as an ‘idea guy’, so naturally, when someone else comes up with one I usually dismiss it. It’s trait my wife obviously loves…

So, the other day when John emailed me to say that he really wanted to do the Strade Bianche Gran Fondo next year, I thought, ‘viaggio sicuro’. Then I remembered that I’d been thinking about going over to Italy and riding the Eroica for years now, but never have because I don’t own a bike ‘vintage’ enough. The Strade Bianche might just be a great interim ride on the same ‘white roads’ of Tuscany. It doesn’t hurt that it’s one of my favorite pro races to watch, and that Fabian Cancellara will be riding it with us.

strade-bianche

At 124 km the race is not long, and at 1350 m of total climbing, no Marmotte either. However, it’s held in March, when most of us are still sweating it out on the trainer, and there are 22 km of gravel roads, some of them with ‘punchy’ hills of up to 18%. Of course the route ends by riding under the Porta Fontebranda and climbing the steep, cobbled street to the stunning Piazza del Campo, where there better be some good wine waiting for me. And a blanket. A bowl of pasta could hurt either.

siena-piazza-del-campo

If anyone else out there has any other ideas for me next season, I think I’ve turned a new leaf, so I’ll be all ears.

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11 thoughts on “Strade Bianche Gran Fondo

  1. Sounds great. I already did the Eroica, but riding there with a modern bike would be less hairy. I’ve been thinking about Paris-Roubaix Challenge and Ronde van Vlaanderen Cyclo.

    • I’ll get to the Eroica some day. Do they accept vintage riders..? I’ve ridden most of the RvV course and the big-ticket P-R cobbled sections, but not the sportives. If they are anything like Amstel Gold, though, they are more ‘randonnées’ than ‘sportives’, i.e. no mass start and not timed.

  2. Sounds great. I love the look of that finish into the square in Siena. I quite fancy myself sitting with a coffee in Siena in spring time watching the world go by. I have some very vague plans for something Belgian next spring, but can’t quite bring myself to commit to something potentially cold, wet and hard!

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