Post by contributing photographer Dan Patitucci of PatitucciPhoto
In Italy, a bike race is a regular occurrence, for races are everywhere, every weekend. But each fall since 1997, Tuscany’s Chianti Region is host to a special kind of race, L’Eroica.
Italian roads are typically silky smooth pavement represented as yellow lines on maps. But the map’s white lines, or strade bianche in Italian, are dirt roads, sometimes worn smooth, sometimes hideously bumpy and potholed – and most certainly always full of surprises. These are the roads for L’Eroica, the same roads used for the professional Eroica course in the spring. But instead of carbon fiber, lycra, and race radios, the L’Eroica is a game of steel frames, lugs, wool, and hairnets. It is a celebration of the sport, its rich history, and of the heroic efforts made by those who have raced in what may be the most grueling of all sports.
We decided to spend the afternoon at the finish line enjoying the many characters who came to participate. See our photos here >>
Read a feature on another famous Italian bike race, the Maratona dles Dolomites, here >>
Find a biking tour with our ratings of 200 travel operators here >>