The Granfondo Strade Bianche was not one for the faint-hearted this year, as cold and wet weather turned the already-testing parcours into a truly grueling battle against steep gradients and Tuscany’s infamous gravel roads. More than 5,000 riders came from all over the world to take part, and among the many famous faces at the start line were Fabian Cancellara, a three-time winner of the pro event, classics legend and multiple world champion Paolo Bettini, Johan “The Lion of Flanders” Museeuw, and Giro d’Italia legend Ivan Basso.
“Strade Bianche is one of my favorite races of the whole season,” says Jered Gruber, the renowned race photographer who is also an old friend of the inGamba crew.
“Even without the gravel, it’s such a challenging course that the racing is always exciting. And the granfondo is such a cool idea because you get to experience the race first-hand, with thousands of other riders on closed roads.”
“When I was still a pro, I loved Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders because it was always a pleasure to ride on the pavé,” says Eros Poli, who knows a thing or two about hard-man racing.
“After I retired, I didn’t always enjoy doing granfondos. And I’ve done L’Eroica, but even though it’s fun, it’s not really my personal passion because I don’t want to go backwards to the old bikes and wool kits.
“The Strade Bianche was great because we got to ride on the gravel with all of the benefits of modern bike technology, on the latest bikes, with great braking, good tires, and modern clothing, comfortable rain jackets – it’s the best granfondo I’ve ever done, and a wonderful experience. It was really inviting, it made me want to race again!”
Want to ride a European granfondo with the best equipment and team support available anywhere? Check out our calendar for upcoming events.