Founded by Giancarlo Brocci in 1997, L’Eroica celebrates the history of cycling with vintage frames, components, clothing and even facial hair on the stunning Strade Bianche in Tuscany, Italy.
The twenty-first edition of the race started and finished in Gaiole in Chianti and offered five different route distances, from 46km/24 miles to 209km/130 miles, to cater for everyone’s abilities.
L’Eroica participants are only allowed to ride racing bikes built “up to and including 1987”, and further regulations include: gear shifters must be on the down tube, pedals with toe clips and straps are to be used, brake cables must pass outside and over the handlebars, wheels must have at least 32 spokes laced to a low profile rim and vintage saddles predating 1987 are encouraged (exceptions are made for specific parts that are period but do not comply with the regulations).
Facial hair design of the era is optional Penni Martinelli/L'Eroica
Wearing of vintage clothing is also encouraged and despite the miserable weather at this year’s event, no technical clothing is permitted.
Modern helmets and more lenient regulations on brakes are permitted for safety reasons.
Gimondi rode a vintage Bianchi but opted for a modern, safer helmet Luigi Sestili/L'Eroica
Seventy-five year old Felice Gimondi, whose palmares include a Tour de France, a Vuelta a Espana, three Giro d’Italia, a Paris-Roubaix and a World Championship title joined the starters in Gaiole in Chianti aboard a 1960’s Bianchi, posing for the cameras alongside a vintage Alfa Romeo team car.
Beginning at 5am, the route began in the dark along a torch lit route before navigating through the Chianti region of Tuscany on the famous white gravel roads.
Click or swipe through the gallery above for a look at the unique event.