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L’Eroica: un mese all’appuntamento con Gaiole in Chianti

L’Eroica on the threshold of its twentieth birthday in just over a month

Save the date with the people who cycle towards the future, while holding onto the values of the past

The twentieth edition of L’Eroica, the most popular vintage cycling event in the world, will take place on Sunday, 2 October in Gaiole in Chianti (Siena). This year’s edition will be truly special because of the many initiatives involving the circa 7,000 participants from over 60 countries on every continent.

Those who take part in L’Eroica do so to enjoy the sense of achievement that comes from facing a challenge from another era. They want to cycle along white roads through magnificent Tuscan landscapes. They want to taste the particular flavours of the Tuscan countryside and lose themselves in the fragrances that the Chianti region and the province of Siena offer freely every season of the year.

“L’Eroica is poetry on two wheels”, where time seems to have stood still. L’Eroica looks to the future with the values of the past that made cycling popular and inspired some of the best literature of the twentieth century. These values are disseminated outside the Chianti region today, through the other Eroicas: Eroica California, Eroica South Africa, Eroica Primavera, Eroica Japan, Eroica Hispania, Eroica Limburg, Eroica Britannia and Eroica Punta del Este.

This is L’Eroica as told by its founder, Giancarlo Brocci: L’Eroica: an act of love for a fantastic sport and a beautiful land

“The years pass and you find yourself more a grandfather than a father to your child. L’Eroica, the one with the capital L’, the mother of them all from Gaiole in Chianti, has reached its twentieth edition. We’re going to take the celebrations easy because, for us, L’Eroica is ageless, because many of its protagonists have found that it gives them life, just as it does their bicycles, which have been saved from the chop. Just as it gives life to many ex-pros that history had briefly registered before putting them aside again; many of them are living a second season of glory, they are acclaimed and celebrated, sometimes more than is their due.

What I would like to do is celebrate those who believed in us right from the start, those who helped ‘raise the child’, who kept the idea and the dream alive up until its debut on the world stage.

I cannot write a list of the formidable figures who have since become recognized icons of our brand of cycling. Everybody recognizes authentic passion; most can distinguish between authenticity and imitation, passion and fashion, wheat and rye. After all, every success story has its imitators. To celebrate the anniversary, I will not quote the macro-economic data that are so positive in the case of the Eroica phenomenon. I prefer to dwell on another aspect; if even professional cycling has today rediscovered the white roads and finds itself wondering if another type of cycling is possible, it is due to a small event involving 92 pioneers that started on 5 October 1997. Participation was offered as a prize to those who had completed the “Bartali” Granfondo and the event was linked to a very romantic project called “Chianti Cycling Park”. It was an act of love towards a great sport and a beautiful land, both of which were under attack, both of which have now been given a promising future, thanks to L’Eroica”.

Giancarlo Brocci

L’Eroica could only have been born in Tuscany. It’s a matter of soul, of land, white roads, landscapes, of genuine food and wine, of culture and passions, of history and of Bartali. Now world-renowned for the special people it involves and for the values it upholds, Eroica encapsulates the very essence of Tuscany, a place that offers a lifestyle that looks to the future, without neglecting its identity and its environment, while also seeking to rediscover the authentic roots of the great sport that is cycling.

Gaiole in Chianti (SI), 3 settembre 2016

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