Ever since it was born, seven editions ago, it has been a “distillate” of the Eroica. A distillate of the highest quality. Montalcino, the place that represents the "half point" of the Eroica-mother, that of Gaiole in October, on the last Sunday of May becomes the starting point and finish line for one of the most fascinating bike rides. During the weekend, its world-famous streets become the setting for the appointments and parties in piazza dell'Eroica Montalcino, and the Val d'Orcia - with its white roads and hills that escape the passage of time - Sunday 28 will welcome the 2500 cyclists who managed to win a number to attach to vintage shirts and strictly vintage bikes.
A great effort (but what a beautiful effort!) for those who will make the longest route, but there is something for everyone according to their possibilities with the four shortest routes of the 153 km of the race. This is the true spirit of the Eroica, a pure randonnée: no heart-pounding departure, no order of arrival (as the inventor Giancarlo Brocci likes to say, the ranking is always the same: first whoever has the surname with the "a" , the last one with the "z").
Therefore, above all a great celebration of the bicycle and of the territory. The refreshment points along the routes are based - as always - on typical Tuscan products while the streets of the town are filled with people who meet and historic bikes that make you dream and give a fine display of themselves.
Two thousand five hundred is indeed a large number. But even more interesting is going beyond the figures: the composition of the starters really gives an idea of what the Eroica has become and what it represents. The first figure that emerges is that of women at the start: more than 300, or about 13% of the total.
And, together, the snapshot of international success: 700 foreigners. The most numerous come from Germany (more than 200) and Switzerland (over 100) but the list extends to France, Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands, the United States, Poland, Spain, Czech Republic, Australia, Canada, Luxembourg, Norway, Slovakia, South Africa, Sweden, Japan, Latvia, Hungary, Greece, Portugal, Pitcairn (very small British Pacific island), Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovenia, Brazil, Denmark, United Arab Emirates, Ireland, Israel, Malta, Monaco, Central African Republic, and Swatini (small country in southern Africa).
The date of birth and the country of origin reveal that the youngest Italian member is called Duccio and it is from Montalcino while the youngest is Gaia and comes from Limena, in the province of Padua. The "least young" Italian is Mr Benitoborn in 1935, from Monte San Savino (AR) while the "less young" is Mrs Patricia from Prato. From abroad, the youngest cyclist comes from Germany and is called Konstantin while the youngest is Athina, from Switzerland. The “less young?” Akira comes from Japan while Yannick Nadege comes from France. Only a few cyclists and cyclists are missing from the party. They would have arrived from Emilia Romagna but they have other difficulties to face.