You might be a macchiato kind of person, or prefer the rich, intense hit of a ristretto. The cappuccino might be king – only in the morning, please – or there might be nothing like the warming promise and alluring aroma of a generous mug of americano. But however you choose to consume the bean, we can all agree that coffee is awesome. It’s also a big part of cycling culture. Fausto Coppi liked it so much that he stopped while in the lead of the 1946 Milano-Sanremo to grab a quick espresso at the Caffè Pasticceria Piccardo in Imperia, some 40 kilometers from the finish line. The legendary Italian heard on a fan’s radio that his lead was almost 10 minutes, and so he decided he had time for a quick hit of java before arriving solo and victorious in Sanremo to take the sixth of his nine one-day monument titles by a quarter of an hour.
It’s been 20 years since the first edition of l’Eroica rolled out of the piazza in Gaiole, and a lot has changed. The first edition involved less than 100 riders, mainly locals who wanted to celebrate the cycling of yesteryear while also bringing some attention to the Tuscan countryside in order to protect it. Two decades on, and some 7,000 people descend on this sleepy corner of Chianti for what is undoubtedly one of the world’s most iconic and unmissable cycling festivals.
“I first met inGamba when I toured the Pinarello factory in Treviso back in 2013. I remember all the riders were in stunning Giordana kit. Later that year I participated in L’Eroica for the first time. Soon after the 5am start, I was completing the first steep decent on gravel by candlelight. At the bottom I saw the inGamba van. As the race went on they were there again – whenever I needed to remove a jacket or need bottle. Unfortunately, I was not one of their supported riders. On finishing, I said I have to ride with these guys!
It’s that time of year again. L’Eroica time. The end of our Italian season, and what a finale it is. A show-stopper of epic proportions that attracts riders and their vintage bicycles from all over the world for one joyous farewell to the last of the summer sunshine on Tuscany’s iconic gravel roads. Read More
InGamba and World Bicycle Relief have been partners for a long time. We’ve done a lot of good together, for some of the most vulnerable people in the world’s poorest countries.
Training for threshold isn’t as scary as it sounds. I promise. It involves some big efforts, but the good news is that it’s also really time effective, so with some concentrated sessions you’ll quickly notice big gains. And if you combine it with some Tempo workouts, which we’ve already covered, you’ll be crushing those climbs in no time.
It’s funny how quickly you get used to the good life. Actually, no. It’s not. It’s not funny at all. There’s nothing fun about washing your bike. You can’t laugh at a laundry bin full of dirty kit. And there’s nothing amusing about standing on the side of the road with your arm raised, signalling a puncture to a non-existent mechanic. Even ordering in a restaurant can be a pain in the derrière, once you’ve become accustomed to having all those world-class chefs you met over in Europe just set out a menu for you.