Velominati Super Prestige: L’Eroica/Strade Bianche 2013

This isn’t Pavé – its Gravé.

Until the 70’s it was common to race on gravel roads, but the Paving of the Planet has led to nearly every road being graced by smooth, black tarmac. As is the case with most things, once we are shown the easy path, it is difficult to return to more arduous ways. So it is with gravel roads; we take measures to avoid unpaved roads and in doing so, we eliminate some of the most rewarding experiences.

Marko has been at the leading edge of the Minnesota Gravé Scene (which has been at the leading edge of the American Gravé Scene), going so far as to build a custom carbon gravel racer called Le Graveur tuned not for CX but for fast racing on gravel roads and snow machine trails. Limited paved roads has lead race organizers to look for alternatives and the result has been several great rides cropping up in the Midwest, East Coast, and in Montana. Challenge has even developed a tire named after one of Minnesota’s most popular gravel races, the Almanzo. Its exciting stuff, and I’ve caught the bug myself; I’ll be planning several big Gravé rides this summer with the boys at Veloforma in Portland as well as some up in Northern Washington near Mazama. What could be better than riding a road bike on gravel roads in the quiet of the wilderness? Not much.

I digress; riding gravel is nothing new, and until the last 30 or so years, most races featured some manner of gravels roads, especially once races hit the mountains. The Italian race l’Eroica, is a throwback to those days, sending the riders over the glorious white gravel roads known as the Strade Bianche. It may not be pavé, but with steep climbs and long sections of gravel racing, this is one of the most unique and best races of the year. And the lack of cobblestones won’t stop me from praying for rain. On a side note, stay tuned for a Keepers Tour coming to this area in the coming years.

Enough of the chatter, lets get onto the Naming of the Picks for the 2013 L’Eroica/Strade Biache. As usual, enter your picks by 5am Pacific time on Saturday. If you can’t do Time Zone Math, just watch the countdown timer in the banner and put your picks in before it goes to zero. Points go towards the season-long Velominati Super-Prestige competition; the winner will receive a personalized shop apron. Check the start list and try to pick riders who are actually going to be there; I know that’s a stretch. Good luck.

Gratuitous Photos of @Marko’s Le Graveur

[dmalbum path=”/ Galleries/[email protected]/Le%20Graveur/”/]

[vsp_results id=”22350″/]

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287 Replies to “Velominati Super Prestige: L’Eroica/Strade Bianche 2013”

  1. Oh Aye! Picked the winner and 3 of the top 5, it’s good to get some points on the board. Pity I’m not a betting man, could have made a few quid today.

  2. @eenies

    Oh Aye! Picked the winner and 3 of the top 5, it’s good to get some points on the board. Pity I’m not a betting man, could have made a few quid today.

    Chapeau!   Well done!!!

  3. Messi beats two and SCORES!!!   GOOOOOOOAAAAAALLL!

    Sorry, wrong sport.

  4. @eenies

    Oh Aye! Picked the winner and 3 of the top 5, it’s good to get some points on the board. Pity I’m not a betting man, could have made a few quid today.

    What wizadry is this?  A sole Moser selection from all the Faboo and Sagan sluts…Chapeau!

  5. @eenies

    Oh Aye! Picked the winner and 3 of the top 5, it’s good to get some points on the board. Pity I’m not a betting man, could have made a few quid today.

    Well, it earned you the win. Just goes to show that betting with the masses never leads to a resounding win. Your clairvoyance earned you a three-point win here, matey.

    Final Race Results

    1. MOSER Moreno
    2. SAGAN Peter
    3. NOCENTINI Rinaldo
    4. CANCELLARA Fabian
    5. SARAMOTINS Aleksejs
    Final VSP Results

    1. eenies (11 points)
    2. Al__S (8 points)
    3. Bat Chainpuller (7 points)
    4. Chica (7 points)
    5. taon24 (6 points)
    6. anexetastos (6 points)
    7. sgraha (6 points)
    8. Steampunk (6 points)
    9. sthilzy (6 points)
    10. San Tonio (6 points)
    11. Skip (6 points)
    12. unjoursans (6 points)
    13. roberto (6 points)
    14. RossM (6 points)
    15. RedRanger (6 points)
    16. cal (6 points)
    17. dancollins (6 points)
    18. Two Ball Billy (6 points)
    19. freddy (6 points)
    20. Vernwitha_V (6 points)
    21. G’phant (6 points)
    22. DrewG (6 points)
    23. MJ Moquin (6 points)
    24. VeloVita (6 points)
    25. Krishnan (6 points)
    26. pakrat (6 points)
    27. typevii (6 points)
    28. jeyrod (6 points)
    29. Gino (6 points)
    30. m_demartino (6 points)
    31. R00tdown (6 points)
    32. frank (6 points)
    33. tony macaroni (6 points)
    34. seemunkee (6 points)
    35. anotherdownunder (6 points)
    36. Matt (6 points)
    37. Heihachi (6 points)
    38. EricW (6 points)
    39. Gervais (5 points)
    40. Bob Shannon (5 points)
    41. mouse (4 points)
    42. Deakus (4 points)
    43. The Oracle (4 points)
    44. ramenvelo (4 points)
    45. Jonny (4 points)
    46. Graham (3 points)
    47. Mikael Liddy (3 points)
    48. Ashwin.S (3 points)
    49. TomC (3 points)
    50. urunomad (3 points)
    51. Nate (3 points)
    52. Buck Rogers (2 points)
    53. paolo (2 points)
    54. torrefie (2 points)
    55. Sauterelle (2 points)
    56. Dr C (2 points)
    57. strathlubnaig (2 points)
    58. Fausto (2 points)
    59. skagitteam (2 points)
    60. Lukas (2 points)
    61. Erik (2 points)
    62. teleguy57 (2 points)
    63. The Grande Fondue (2 points)
    64. Geordi (2 points)
    65. Lepidopterist (2 points)
    66. Marko (2 points)
    67. graham d.m. (2 points)
    68. Duende (2 points)
    69. Alex (2 points)
    70. piwakawaka (2 points)
    71. Don Amedo (2 points)
    72. paul.c (2 points)
    73. Jhortua (2 points)
    74. TOM.NELS2120 (2 points)
    75. stickyjumper (2 points)
    76. CanuckChuck (2 points)
    77. asyax (2 points)
    78. burk (2 points)
    79. Adrian (2 points)
    80. simonsaunders (2 points)
    81. GiantBars (2 points)
    82. chrismurphy92 (2 points)
    83. SimonH (2 points)
    84. Tobin (2 points)
    85. actor1 (2 points)
    86. napolinige (2 points)
    87. imakecircles (2 points)
    88. matthew langley (2 points)
    89. Daccordi Rider (2 points)
    90. oneninefiveninesix (2 points)
    91. velomihottie (2 points)
    92. Barracuda (2 points)
    93. el gato (2 points)
    94. moondance (2 points)
    95. 1aNb (2 points)
    96. King Clydesdale (2 points)
    97. il ciclista medio (2 points)
    98. bugleboy21 (2 points)
    99. motor city (2 points)
    100. Harminator (2 points)
    101. Anjin-san (2 points)
    102. VirenqueForever (2 points)
    103. Chris Adams (2 points)
    104. itburns (2 points)
    105. Islandbike (2 points)
    106. blue (2 points)
    107. Patrick (2 points)
    108. Gianni (2 points)
    109. Blah (2 points)
    110. Roberto Marques (2 points)
    111. G’rilla (2 points)
    112. Facetious_Jesus (2 points)
    113. JohnB (2 points)
    114. Cyclops (2 points)
    115. Souleur (2 points)
    116. wiscot (2 points)
    117. Scottymack (2 points)
    118. Jay (2 points)
    119. sprider (2 points)
    120. starclimber (2 points)
    121. xyxax (2 points)
    122. Markp (2 points)
    123. Noel (2 points)
    124. girl (2 points)
    125. LA Dave (2 points)
    126. Ron (2 points)
    127. Lister (2 points)
    128. DaRCrider (2 points)
    129. the Engine (1 points)
    130. Nosyt (1 points)
    131. razmaspaz (1 points)
    132. Bianchi Denti (1 points)
    133. Dan_R (1 points)
    134. Giles (1 points)
    135. Skinnyphat (1 points)
    136. Russ (1 points)
    137. eightzero (1 points)
    138. la plaque (1 points)
    139. scaler911 (1 points)
    140. Tartan1749 (1 points)
    141. V-olcano (1 points)
    142. unversio (0 points)
    143. ralph (0 points)
    144. BJH (0 points)
    145. brett (0 points)
    146. Chris (0 points)


  6. Curses. I had Moser and Sagan but not the right order. Moser is a tough bastid, he should show up again in the VSP. Well done Senor Ennies, fantastic call.

  7. @Buck Rogers


    In honor of the fact that the race is being held in Italy I’ve decided to go with an all-Italian roster. I was going to stick to the members of Team Cinzano, but after that regrettable incident with the frame pump in the spokes they are dead to me.


    1. BELLETTI Manuel
    2. POZZATO Filippo
    3. PAOLINI Luca
    4. CUNEGO Damiano
    5. GASPAROTTO Enrico

    Going all Italian and you didn’t pick Moser??? Just kidding, although he is definitely a wild card chance for this race.

    Damn!  Should have taken my own advice!  One point last week, two this week, at this rate I will truly be peaking in two months!

  8. Cannondale’s kit looks much better this year, but you can hardly tell Sagan is national champion.

  9. @DerHoggz

    Cannondale’s kit looks much better this year, but you can hardly tell Sagan is national champion.

    My 5 year old just had his room repainted cannondale pro cycling green and put up blue curtains……..he has a Sagan problem.

  10. @frank

    There’s a bit of a flaw in the VSP: today’s unquestioned winner was Cannondale, but the final standings reward those who picked Spartacus to school the youngsters (@eenies excepted). This isn’t a complaint; just an observation. I’m happy to finish top ten, but do feel as though I didn’t pick this nearly as well as folks who picked Sagan to win…

  11. @Deakus

    OK I have changed my VSP picks to test a point. The VSP appears to have been left open during the race…or the timings were wrong. I swapped my 1 and 5 around to illustrate. I had Sagan for 5th and Van Avamaert for 1st but was following the cycling weekly coverage where they are saying with 90km to go Sagan is going to win it.

    @Frank please can you change back when you tot up the scores and just see if anyone took advantage of the problem that occured….?

    They close at 5am Pacific, so this early in the season it doesn’t sync with the start of the races as well. I’m not that worried about it, though, as the Piti Principle would yield such a high penalty it would render a season useless for anyone trying to take advantage.

    Thanks for letting us know, though; I hadn’t expected them to be open that late in the race. Might move it back a few more hours, just because.

  12. Apart from Jens and Tony G, poor Faboo has no mates to help him now – time for a new team and let the whole sorry Leotard Schleck project wither on the vine – what a shame – can’t see Spartacus winning anything with that crew this year

  13. @Pedale.Forchetta

    Close to Moreno Moser in September.

    Stunning….you are bidding early this year for the V photo competition….just be sure you don’t peak too early!!

  14. @Dan_R Faboo may need more than Jens to win a classic this spring. He had this to say to cyclingnews after the race: “I don’t have the solution to how beat Sagan at the moment but I’m getting close to where I want to be. There’s still time to improve and there’s still some margin for improvement. We’ll see what happens in a few weeks time.”

  15. @Nate

    He looked pretty convincing with Bennati up the road in last year’s edition of the Strade Bianche. Basically, it might mean that he could let the breakaway go if he had a teammate in it rather than the onus being on him to pull it back and then attack from the front. I’m worried we’re going to see a repetition of 2011: everybody watches/marks Cancellara and desperately tries to jump on his wheel when he makes a move. And then he throws his hands up in exasperation. I appreciate the strategy, but it doesn’t make for the best viewing and it’s a shame not to see the strongest man in the race get to demonstrate his power.

  16. @Steampunk

    I’m kinda hoping Tony Gallopin will come to Faboos rescue – I see Maxime Monfort as leader in Paris Knees couldn’t make it the entire 3 mins 40 round Paris without falling off today…..

  17. @Nate

    And I’m really not a fan of Bennati’s. I was merely responding to your suggestion that Cancellara wouldn’t know what to do with a team. To @Dr C‘s point, though, he probably only needs one guy up the road. Galloping could be that guy alright. But this not a strong team anymore by any metric…

  18. @Steampunk Yeah, got that.  My general impression is that Cance often has little if any team support in the last hour of a monument.

  19. We only got the last 20ks televised here but I watched it for the second time today.

    Moser rode a fucking great race. Full of cold hard effort but tempered by good timing and race smarts. Notwithstanding the solo bridge to the front group (over 12ks in 20 minutes to haul back 2.5 minutes), he played it cool enough to not go too deep into the red and sat tight while the chase group closed in. Solid climbing through town capped a very classy ride.

    As for Fabs – he’s still strong but FFS – hasn’t he found a new way to win yet? He’s been getting marked heavily since the motorcus ride 3 years ago! Sags did nothing new but it was enough to shut him out totally. Again.

    After he missed the Moser move at 20k (duh!) there were 10 other riders he could have worked with or used to try split Sagan out. But no. He continued with the short effort followed by an elbow flick followed by a gesture of exasperation when there’s no response. He’s got to either ride the wheelsuckers off his wheel or back himself to carry them up to the finish and slay them there. If he keeps sitting up when he feels used by the suckers he’ll never see the front of the race again.

  20. @harminator

    As for Fabs – he’s still strong but FFS – hasn’t he found a new way to win yet?

    I’m a huge Fab fan, but I have to agree with you. He needs to use his brains and his team–if available…

  21. Tough quiz today, I am no expert on the hour record so quite happy with 9!

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