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Tuscany: The Strade Bianche experience

$6,950

Riders have been grinding gravel in Tuscany long before it became fashionable elsewhere. The region’s dusty backroads give an alternative view on this beautiful part of the world, and offer an enchanting glimpse into cycling’s golden age, when most bike races were run on unpaved roads and Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali were Europe’s biggest sporting superstars.

The famous Strade Bianche weave through the Tuscan countryside unnoticed by most travelers, but they’re treasured by those in the know. There are undulating swathes of ochre and olive in every direction, crumbling stone walls and cypress-lined narrow strips of powdery gravel, climbs that bake in the sun, exposed hilltops, and twisting descents through vineyards. In short, they’re the best way to explore this part of the Bel Paese.

We’ve called Chianti home for years and this trip combines the very best gravel roads we know with some of our all-time favorite routes in Tuscany, giving you the best of both worlds in one truly unforgettable package.

Included With Trip:

  • All lodging*
  • All food and beverages**
  • Pinarello Grevil+ Disk with SRAM RED eTap AXS
  • Daily Bike Wash
  • Custom Castelli × inGamba cycling kit
  • Daily post-ride massage from a professional soigneur
  • Laundry service for cycling clothing

 

*Pre/post-trip lodging is not included
**Beverages ordered by guests beyond normal amounts and away from group activities will incur additional charges

Trip at a Glance

Start Location:

Florence

Finish Location:

Florence

Days Riding:

6

Group Size:

8 – 12

Total Distance:

439km

Total Elevation:

7,395m

Longest Day:

Day 6. The Strade Bianche Granfondo. 139km

Biggest Climbing Day:

Day 2. Monte Sante Marie. 2,218m

...

Day by Day Breakdown

1

Terra Classica

Benvenuti in Italia! This shake-out ride is the perfect introduction to riding in Tuscany, rolling along ridge tops, through small villages and past the ancient olive groves that blanket these fertile hillsides. This ride has a long, solid climb in the middle – which should shake out any cobwebs built up during your flight. This is also the ideal time to adjust anything on the bike that isn’t quite right, so if you need to make any changes, let your mechanic know right away.
2

Monte Sante Marie

This route will test both your bike-handling skills and your climbing legs, as we tackle some of the best bits of the famous Strade Bianche race, including almost 35km of gravel roads. There are no long climbs in Tuscany to rival those up north, but the terrain here is always undulating and you’ll find plenty of steep pitches that can reach double figures in gradient and last for a couple of kilometers. It’s not all hard work though: We’ll roll through some spectacular towns and the whole course runs through breathtaking scenery.
3

Castelnuovo Berardenga

This is a relaxed route, inspired by the traditional coffee shop ride taken by inGamba’s founder, João Correia, when he was a pro racer, living and training in Tuscany. Expect gentle rolling hills and plenty of time for on-the-bike conversation or some horsing around by Raul as we make our way to Castelnuovo Berardenga. The famous battle of Monteaperti was fought here in 1260, and today the town is alive with a street market.
4

Crete Senesi

Today’s ride will take you south toward the town of Montalcino where the rolling Tuscan clay-colored views of postcards will be in full effect. This is the Crete Senesi, a region known for its production of white truffles. The highlight of our ride is the ridge south of Arbia.
5

Strade Bianche Pro Race

Today the pros will battle it out amongst themselves on the rough gravel roads that bisect these Tuscan hillsides. There will be flat tires, carnage, and only a few will be left with a chance to win after 176km. It can be dry and dusty, or rainy and cold, but whatever the weather, it’s always one of the season’s most exciting showdowns. We’ll spend the afternoon chasing the race in a few select locations, before a dash to Siena to see the fireworks on the final climb into the walled city.
6

The Strade Bianche Granfondo

Today will be our turn at the Strade Bianche course, hitting the dusty backroads and sampling just how tough it is for the pros. Our route will be a little shorter and have a little less climbing than the race, but it still promises to be an unforgettable experience. And with our fleet of Pinarello Grevil+ and famous inGamba mechanical service, we'll be well prepared for whatever the road brings.
7

Departure

This is our final morning together and after a leisurely breakfast, it will be time to say goodbye, or at least arrivederci, until we meet again. Transfers to the airport will be arranged by our hard-working crew but if you’re planning on staying a few extra days, let us know if we can help with reservations or a few recommendations.

YOUR Guides

Eros Poli

The Champion

The night before Eros Poli took victory atop Mont Ventoux he couldn’t sleep. It was not like he was dreaming of victory or even had the slightest idea the next day's stage would change his life forever. It was just that it was hot. Unbearably, unsleepably hot in his less-than stellar French hotel. His roommate had taken his mattress off the bed and was sleeping on the small balcony outside their room. And the man who would shortly become known as Monsieur Ventoux was watching football, Italy vs. Brazil in the World Cup final, to be exact. Italy lost. The following morning as Eros dragged his weary, tired legs out of bed and down the stairs, as there was no lift, James Brown came into his head. “I feel good, I knew that I would now,” started to repeat over and over in his head. As it would the rest of the day. He felt good and the rest, as they say, is history.

Giorgio Valvassori

The Storyteller

You may hear the sweet, sweet notes wafting towards your window at Borgolecchi, as our resident aristocrat practices his new found love of the clarinet. We’re never quite sure if all of his stories are based on reality, but they are without a doubt highly entertaining. Probably the greatest tale Giorgio is prone to tell you is that he’s not really a cyclist. This yarn is not to be believed.

BIKE OPTION

PINARELLO GREVIL+

FRAMESET:

Pinarello Grevil+

COCKPIT:

ZIPP Service Course SL

GRUPPO:

SRAM RED eTap AXS

PEDALS:

Speedplay (or your own)

SADDLE:

Selle Italia

WHEELSET:

Zipp

TIRES:

Vittoria

BOTTLE CAGES:

Elite

BIDON:

Elite

COMPUTER:

Garmin Edge 820