Velominati Super Prestige: L’Eroica/Strade Bianche 2013

Eroica
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=”/velominati.com/content/Photo 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. VSP PICKS:

    1. Sagan
    2. Phinney
    3. Kessiakoff
    4. Pelizzoti
    5. Gasparatto

  2. @The Oracle Maybe Frank needs to pick 3 “obvious picks” for each event and disallow their selection, forcing lists that do not all say Sagan/Evans/Cancellara. I do like the Billions and Billions (of babes?) nickname for P. Sagan

  3. @DerHoggz I prefer to ride metal frames, compact cranks (gasp), and clincher tires on my Graveur bikes.  CX setup is composite, standard crank and tubs.  Also, for the gravel I run Conti 4 Seasons in 28C… they have proven exceptionally cut and puncture resistant while still providing excellent rolling resistance.  On gravel I have found that I am just as fast on descents as my knobby equipped competitors… must be all the fat tire time.

  4. Ya, well…………

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Sagan
    2. BOOOMMM
    3. Van Avermaet
    4. Nuyens
    5. Planckaert

  5. VSP PICKS:

    1. Enrico Gasparotto
    2. Fabian Cancellara
    3. Peter Sagan
    4. Cadel Evans
    5. Filippo Pozzato

  6. VSP PICKS:

    1. Van Avermaet
    2. Sagan
    3. Pellizotti
    4. Gatto
    5. Cancellara

  7. VSP PICKS:

    1. Cancellara
    2. Moser
    3. Kessiakoff
    4. Sagan
    5. Valverde

  8. SWAG – Sagan is healthy and has been kicking ass.   Can never count out Cancellara

  9. @ralph Also, races like this are kind of like flat stages–in all likelihood, few are going to separate themselve from the rest of the peloton, except for those lucky enough to get into the escape group and make it stick.

  10. Beyond Cancellara, pretty random picks.  Would give him a pretty impressive strike rate if he can get the third win and get a dirt section named after him…

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Cancellara
    2. Van Avermaet
    3. Cunego
    4. Moser
    5. Kessiakoff

  11. Why would I bet against Faboooo? I may have damned myself already but has he done anything yet this year? If there was ever a finish that suited Sagan, it’s this kind.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. sagan
    2. evans
    3. gatto
    4. moser
    5. gasparotto

  12. I just want Fabs to have a road named after him. I’ve always deserved to have one named after me but no one has recognized it, so I’m going to pull for him on that.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Faboo
    2. Sagan Wagon
    3. The Cat
    4. Gobbles
    5. Boom

  13. @frank I’d name my driveway after you, Frank, but I don’t want another lecture from the VMH about those “internet bike weirdos” so soon after having to explain to her why it was essential that I order a pair of cufflinks.

  14. Cotholara will probably win, but I won’t pick him on principle.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Cuddles
    2. Nordhaug
    3. Kolobnev
    4. Gasparotto
    5. el Gatto

  15. What the hell. Brit hardman my wildcard. In the break for most of the race, solo attack, caught by the machines in sight of the line.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Peter Sagan
    2. Fabian Cancellara
    3. Steve Cummings
    4. Juan Antonio Flecha
    5. Lars Boom

  16. @frank

    I just want Fabs to have a road named after him. I’ve always deserved to have one named after me but no one has recognized it, so I’m going to pull for him on that.

    Strack Street — does sound nice. If I redo my driveway with genuine cobblestone (seriously), then you could come to ride out of it one day. We’ll call it the Strack Secteur — just for one day.

  17. Noob question: How are folks on the west coast of the US planning to follow the race? I’ll be someplace with cable this weekend, in addition to wifi.  Any direction sarebbe molto apprezzato.

  18. @Buck Rogers

    I did a year of fellowship training in Philadelphia with a guy born and bred and who lived in Sicily (he just came to the States for his Fellowship and now lives in Milan) and he was always yelling Cazzo! I picked it up and whenever I would say it he would say, “Oh Buck, you really shouldn’t say that, it is a very bad word!” Cracked me up. So I picked up three words from him: Grazie, prego, and Cazzo! Figured that you should carry me in most situations!

    Reminds me of my Cuban bunkmate while I was in the Army. He taught me three or four things in Spanish. Then he and his buddies would laugh while I got into a fight for saying them to others. Of course, they always had my back. (I wasn’t too bright at 19, but was up for a good tussle)

  19. VSP PICKS:

    1. Cancellara
    2. Sagan
    3. Cadel
    4. Sacha Modolo
    5. Boom

  20. whew…didn’t miss out….

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Spartacus
    2. Paolini
    3. VanAvermaet
    4. Sagan
    5. Kolobnev

  21. @unversio

    @frank

    I just want Fabs to have a road named after him. I’ve always deserved to have one named after me but no one has recognized it, so I’m going to pull for him on that.

    Strack Street “” does sound nice. If I redo my driveway with genuine cobblestone (seriously), then you could come to ride out of it one day. We’ll call it the Strack Secteur “” just for one day.

    There is in fact a North Strack Street near Dekalb Illinois – sadly it doesn’t appear to be cobbled or indeed interesting in any way at all.

  22. @frank

    I just want Fabs to have a road named after him. I’ve always deserved to have one named after me but no one has recognized it, so I’m going to pull for him on that.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Faboo
    2. Sagan Wagon
    3. The Cat
    4. Gobbles
    5. Boom

    And Faboo has a whole town (well village) named after him not a gazillion kilometres from Naples. It’s hillier that North Strack Street but that’s about all it appears to have going for it.

    Nice to see someone of discernment going for Oscar the Cat too.

  23. Not many out there going without Sagan.

    Hopefully the weather’ll be awful as a prelude to @franks wet Roubaix

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Iglinsky
    2. Van Avermaet
    3. Blythe
    4. Valverde
    5. Tom Slagter

  24. VSP PICKS:

    1. Sagan
    2. Cancellara
    3. Quinziato
    4. Flecha
    5. Pozzato

  25. VSP PICKS:

    1. Cancellara
    2. Gilbert
    3. Sagan
    4. Van Avermaet
    5. Phinney

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