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. Good lord, Marko’s bike is gorgeous.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Fabian Cancellara
    2. Peter Sagan
    3. Alejandro Valverde
    4. Juan Antonio Flecha
    5. Moreno Moser

  2. I keep picking my picks apart. ‘What logical scenario plays out, dude, that ends in ‘this’ particular result?’. Oh well, hat, enter ring.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Cancellara
    2. Gasparotto
    3. Sagan
    4. Van Avermaet
    5. Paolini

  3. Tumbling dice.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Sagan
    2. Cancellara
    3. Pozatto
    4. Francesco Reda
    5. Greg Van Avermaet

  4. Don’t have a feel for this one at all, but I just can’t seem to find it in myself to bet against the boy wonder.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Sagan
    2. Boom
    3. Spartacus
    4. Gatto
    5. Evans

  5. I may have to change one of my picks to Adam Blythe. Check out his new shoes, yeah daddy!

    VSP PICKS:

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

  6. Had to swap out Can’tGo for minifini, on the basis that this is the year the new breed of youth take over.

    @brett

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

    Is ‘Velocurmudgeon’ a word? It should be. (Points for consistency, though. Eyeore wouldn’t be Eyeore if he occasionally lightened up.)

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Fabs
    2. Sags
    3. Cuddles
    4. Booms
    5. Minifini

  7. I wish I had some of those roads to ride today!

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Sagan
    2. Cancellara
    3. Greg van Avermaet
    4. Marcato
    5. Iglinsky

  8. I’ve no idea and these chaps are first on their team lists.  Easy.

    VSP PICKS:

    1. Peter Sagan
    2. Thomas Dekker
    3. Marco Bandiera
    4. Fabian Cancellara
    5. Thomas Damuseau

  9. er…vsp says it is open for another 17m but there is only 90km of the races to go?

  10. 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….?

  11. @xyxax

    @Deakus

    agent provocateur

    Indeed….or if this was an intentional move by the Keepers check who was awake then bloody well leave my changes in!!

  12. @Deakus

    Yep – I changed my mind and resolved to put Sagan to win when people said he was a cert… that was a week ago, though.

    So what made them think with 90km to go he was suddenly a good thing?

  13. @Blah

    @Deakus

    Yep – I changed my mind and resolved to put Sagan to win when people said he was a cert… that was a week ago, though.

    So what made them think with 90km to go he was suddenly a good thing?

    I think he has about 7mins over the rest and is looking strong as well as his current form, having said that Faboo is still going hunt him down over the last 80kms I suspect..

  14. @Deakus

    @Blah

    @Deakus

    Yep – I changed my mind and resolved to put Sagan to win when people said he was a cert… that was a week ago, though.

    So what made them think with 90km to go he was suddenly a good thing?

    I think he has about 7mins over the rest and is looking strong as well as his current form, having said that Faboo is still going hunt him down over the last 80kms I suspect..

    Ignore that, I am following it on text and it is rather confusing, I think they just think he looks very strong on the front of the main group.  They will reel in the breakaway who are now down to 5:30 but Faboo is up there so it is still all to play for.

  15. I put in my picks with 35 mins remaining on the counter, but there’s a breakaway of 4 up the road and Cannondale are chasing at the head of the bunch with 60km to go, and the gap is 5m30s.  At least on the stream I can get.  Can Cycling Weekly see into the future?

  16. Flecha attempting to bridge to a doomed break that has just 3 minutes lead with 42 km to go. I’d rate that a waste of energy.

  17. Correction: Flecha has 40 seconds on the bunch, and trails the break by 3:10. No correction of ‘waste of energy’ needed. 34 to go.

  18. Ya know, they ‘are’ leaving the catch a bit late. Having just typed that, Cannondale are in numbers up front.

  19. So I’ve been streaming this like an idiot – Eurosport here has it live but not mentioned in their schedule. Doh! and Yay!

  20. Ahhhh, my live feed has just cut off to cover the Barca vs Real Madrid Clasico!   While I plan on watching that as well, they could have waited five minutes or the finish!!!

  21. Argh. The risk of a pirated feed. Was watching from Sporza off cycling fans. Apparently they were feeding from a bar or someone’s house, because the channel selection popped up, and now soccer is on. With less than 2km left.

    Sadness.

  22. @Erik

    Argh. The risk of a pirated feed. Was watching from Sporza off cycling fans. Apparently they were feeding from a bar or someone’s house, because the channel selection popped up, and now soccer is on. With less than 2km left.

    Sadness.

    Same feed as me.  At least it is THE futbol mat h of the week!  Can NEVER go wrong watching Messi and Iniesta!

  23. @Buck Rogers

    Would lve to see Moser hold them off even though I did not pick him!

    Nice to see him win, but it screwed my VSP – picked Sagan, who won the hill sprint from the bunch, but all the Faboo fans get the points if they put Sagan 2nd, and a lot did. Boooo.

  24. Great race, deserving win for Moser. Switching Gaspalotto for Nocentini turns out to have been wrong. Oh well.

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