It has been the first time, we participated in L'Eroica race in Tuscany, Italy on the 6th of October 2013! L'Eroica in Italy is one of the most popular vintage cycling events world wide. More than 5000 cyclists did the race this year. Our team rode one of the short distances of 75 km. Besides of that there were a shorter track of 38km and two long tracks of 138km and 205km. Our route had ca. 1750 meters of climb and went through the stunning countryside of Tuscany. Our team rode two vintage Alberto Masi Prestige bicycles, one Francesco Moser and an Edi Strobl bike. It was a great ride and we loved it so much that we definitely want to do it again next year :-) The event was organized in a great way and we felt comfortable and excited. What a pleasure it was to see all that vintage and classic bicycles all together in a small Italian village, Gaiole!
We stayed in Orlando Camping in Chianti, which is a nice and cosy camping where you can rent comfortable cabins and have a great dinner in the camping restaurant. We would totally recommend this place for the L'Eroica stay since it is closed to Gaiole, is very quite and offers very reasonable prices for cabins. All cabins have electricity, warm water, heaters and showers. It was a perfect base camp for our team for L'Eroica :-)
The start of L'Eroica is in Gaiole which is a small village in Tuscany, middle of the wine hills. There is a flea market in the center of the village where you can see and buy vintage bicycles and parts. The market startes couple days before L'eroica and ends on Sunday evening, the day of the L'Eroica race. The prices are not cheap but we could find some nice vintage parts for our future bike projects. Too bad that we did not have that much room in our car :-)
We arrived on Friday evening and spent the whole Saturday assembling and preparing our bikes for the race and, of course, on the flea market. It was raining the whole time and we were worried about the nasty weather during the race. I mean, if you go to Tuscany and it's your first time, you ride L'Eroica, then everything has to be perfect: Pizza, Chianti wine and, of course, the weather :-) Indeed we were lucky and had the best possible sunshine on Sunday! It was very motivating and made us smile.
I know, I already said that the ride was great :-) Well... it was awesome and I cannot stop repeating it and telling everyone how great the countryside was with its castles, wine hills and cosy villages... Chianti in Tuscany is just the perfect place for a vintage cycling race! You feel being in the past, in the time of great cycling heros like Fausto Coppi, Eddy Merckx, Francesco Moser and Gino Bartali! Imagine hundreds of people in vintage cycling jerseys and on vintage bicycles and you are middle in the past! During the race there are several food points where you can get some bread with whine and try a tasty hotpot :-)
It was our first but for sure not last L'Eroica race and we would highly recommend it for our readers and all vintage bike fans! After the race we spent some more days in Italy and visited Alberto Masi in Milan. Read more about it soon in our blog!
And here are more pictures for you from L'Eroica 2013: