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View Full Version : L'eroica 2014 - who rode it?


KJMUNC
10-07-2014, 12:57 AM
Any ride reports, feedback, tips from those who rode it this year? Trying to get things lined up for riding in it next year and want to plan ahead, especially on for the bike situation.

Would love to hear ride reports of how it went this year!

weisan
10-07-2014, 01:08 AM
The newly-crowned women's world RR champ. was there. :banana:

http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/media/?taglist=pelo-pics-media&id=139711#.VDNxiUpX-uY

choke
10-07-2014, 01:34 AM
The newly-crowned women's world RR champ. was there. :banana:Most of Rabo-Liv was there. PFP's jersey is even more special because it was originally won by Gerrie Knetemann, who is Roxane Knetemann's (Rabo-Liv rider) father. Roxane also rode L'Eroica on the bike her father was on when he won that jersey.

More pics of them here (http://cyclingtips.com.au/2014/10/rocacorba-daily-323/) at the bottom of the page.

rrudoff
10-07-2014, 07:05 AM
I rode it for the first time this year. I did the 75 km route, it was a lot of fun, but a lot of climbing and I did not train as much as I planned due to a family emergency in the weeks before so I was pretty sore at the finish. I had planned to be in Italy for 10 days or so before and pre ride some of the Strade Bianche, but I ended up having to arrive three days before, and only got one short ride in.

Everyone was very cool, and I thought the ride was pretty well organized for Italy. Note that my wife lives in the area currently, though closer to Firenze, and I go back and forth between Italy and California, and we have a lot of friends in Panzano and Volpaia, so I am used to riding around the area, and speak some Italian. One thing to be aware of is there is really no place to get more water or food for the first 45k or so, until you get to Radda, it is all in the country.

The views were amazing, and everyone watching was very supportive. Do be aware that the roads are not closed to other traffic for the most part, so you have to deal with that along with several thousand riders.

It was also good to get to the start about an hour early, I was lucky enough to get a ride there from a friend, as I could see that parking etc. got pretty crazy later on and you could end up a long way from the starting queue. I was quite near the front and actually rode near Marianne Vos for some time, until the real climbing started.

I bought an older Fuso in US and did some minor work of adding Rivendell Silver shifters (worked great), Shimano 600 standard levers, and a 11-32 cassette with an older Deore derailleur. I had some old MKS pedals I used that worked fine. I put all new cables and housings on. I also got an Nitto s83 post along with Nitto Noodle bars and Pearl stem. I am pretty big and did not want an old Cinelli or TTT setup on washboard dirt.

The rest was left as standard 7400 Dura Ace. I put Swiss stop Brake pads, along with 28 mm Gravel King Panaracers, which barely fit. The wheels were older Ultegra 36 hole hubs with Mavic Open Pro rims and held up great.

I would say the tires were superb, I was not very fast uphill, but downhill or in the flats on pavement or Strade Bianche I was very fast and felt very secure. Everything worked perfectly mechanically, but on the steepest descents, the brakes were not as strong as modern dual pivot. I might try Mafacs or even Paul racers next time, as there were a few instances of no more slowing available but more needed.

Overall it was really a great experience, I plan to do it again, knowing the terrain next time will make it a bit easier.

Mr. Pink
10-07-2014, 08:38 AM
How was the food?

rrudoff
10-08-2014, 03:49 PM
Can only comment on 75K, as well as some dining suggestions near by.

First stop in Radda, not too impressed, lots of bread with honey, jam or nutella along with some fruit. Water by cup, no way to refill a bottle without buying more water, but the Macelleria has water and only charged by 1 euro for 1.5l, so very fair. There are of course other stores and cafes in Radda you pass as you ride through the main street.

Panzano is not an official food stop, but Dario the famous Butcher has a spread set out with Salami, Lardo, Wine etc, if you are up to it. You can also go in the shop and sample more food. First Sunday of the months is also a market in Panzano, so lots of tourists. There are some nice little cafes and bars in Panzano also if you want a coffee. Dario also has a couple restaurants in town, if you want a memorable meal and like Meat they are a good choice. He is a showman and has been written about quite a bit. You need reservaitons and it is not a ride type of meal, it is a sleep after meal. I like Solo Cicca a bit more than Officine di Bistecca, but they are both good.

After the big climb out of Panzano towards Volpaia there is a good stop with Ribollita, small pannini with Proscuitto and some other stuff.

In Volpaia proper there is Bar-Ucci if you want a coffee, or anything from a snack to a full meal. I think it is fantastic, but in the interest of full disclosure we are very good friends with Paola who owns Bar-Ucci and eat there regularly, so I am biased. You do not need a reservation here, though for Dinner it is not a bad idea.

oldpotatoe
10-08-2014, 07:07 PM
Can only comment on 75K, as well as some dining suggestions near by.

First stop in Radda, not too impressed, lots of bread with honey, jam or nutella along with some fruit. Water by cup, no way to refill a bottle without buying more water, but the Macelleria has water and only charged by 1 euro for 1.5l, so very fair. There are of course other stores and cafes in Radda you pass as you ride through the main street.

Panzano is not an official food stop, but Dario the famous Butcher has a spread set out with Salami, Lardo, Wine etc, if you are up to it. You can also go in the shop and sample more food. First Sunday of the months is also a market in Panzano, so lots of tourists. There are some nice little cafes and bars in Panzano also if you want a coffee. Dario also has a couple restaurants in town, if you want a memorable meal and like Meat they are a good choice. He is a showman and has been written about quite a bit. You need reservaitons and it is not a ride type of meal, it is a sleep after meal. I like Solo Cicca a bit more than Officine di Bistecca, but they are both good.

After the big climb out of Panzano towards Volpaia there is a good stop with Ribollita, small pannini with Proscuitto and some other stuff.

In Volpaia proper there is Bar-Ucci if you want a coffee, or anything from a snack to a full meal. I think it is fantastic, but in the interest of full disclosure we are very good friends with Paola who owns Bar-Ucci and eat there regularly, so I am biased. You do not need a reservation here, though for Dinner it is not a bad idea.

Grazie..gonna try to do 2015 with a couple of local guys..we will see if the stars align.

alessandro
10-08-2014, 11:05 PM
Thanks for the write-up.

I love this detail:
I thought the ride was pretty well organized for Italy.

Mr. Pink
10-09-2014, 11:36 AM
hmmmmm....

The impression I get from the few Youtube videos I have seen is that the food stops are unreal. Like, you know, really good food on china. Not your usual American fig bars and bananas. Am I mistaken, or was that just one special stop?

alessandro
10-09-2014, 01:10 PM
Looks like L'Eroica will be coming to Napa next year. Stephen Farrand writes for Cycling News.

Mr. Pink
10-13-2014, 02:52 PM
Bike Snob went, and came back with a preliminary report, more extensive TR to come:

http://www.bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com/2014/10/im-back-now-time-for-recovery-ride.html?m=1

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-6kwa6dvqAps/VDP0wHqRHtI/AAAAAAAA3vs/fsRjvWgNeyo/s1600/fire%2Bbrigade.jpg

Echo
10-13-2014, 04:33 PM
Looks like L'Eroica will be coming to Napa next year. Stephen Farrand writes for Cycling News.

Oh wow! If thats happening in Napa, then you can absolutely count me in!

Mr. Pink
10-14-2014, 09:24 AM
Bike snob blogs on the Brooks site. Lots of pictures. Looks like the food was awesome.

http://blog.brooksengland.com/wps/sometimes-the-best-rides-are-the-most-delicious-ones/

Bikegeek1968
10-15-2014, 03:42 PM
Any ride reports, feedback, tips from those who rode it this year? Trying to get things lined up for riding in it next year and want to plan ahead, especially on for the bike situation.

Would love to hear ride reports of how it went this year!

Here is a ride report I posted in Bikeforums, so please excuse any overlap. Enjoy!

**************

So, this is my third time at L'Eroica. The first time I did it for fun, the second time my goal was to break 12 hours (205km) and this time was to do it for speed. Not race pace do or die, just a steady pace, and minimal stopping at the check points.

Myself and two friends flew in to Florence, arriving the Thursday before the event on Air France. Due to a pilots' strike, we were not sure of making the trip until two days before our departure. Fortunately, everything was settled and our flight was not cancelled. We managed to get all three of our bikes and luggage into our rented Ford C-max Grand. We brought a compact trunk rack and put two bikes on it, the empty cases and 1 case with a bike were packed inside. It made for a tight ride. We stayed in a town a little outside of Siena called Pianella. It is a great place to stay because it is on all four of the route distances. The 205km route passes it twice, the second pass provided a great chance to dump off some extra clothing.

We put the bikes back together on Thursday night, and on Friday morning we rode the 75km route on our own. We were joined by a friend of a friend for the ride. His name is Carlo, and he is a local policemen. New Italian best friend Carlo knew EVERYONE. Every rider we passed, every cafe owner we saw, everyone on the street. It was pretty funny. After our ride, we cleaned up and drove to Gaiole to sign in and pick up our numbers. The vendors were set up, so we took a good look around. Unlike past years, there were a fair amount of bikes that you could buy and ride in the event. There were also bikes available for rent that looked like they would survive the day. As usual, there were tons of parts of all ages available for sale. Some were worn to the bone, others were NOS. Plenty of jerseys and shoes too.

On Saturday were did a short ride in the morning and then relaxed in the afternoon. We probably should have kept off of our feet more, but Siena is too nice of a city to skip. One last check of the bikes was done that night. Every bolt was checked, wheels were trued, bottles filled, etc. We wanted to get off in the first group, and that meant arriving in town a 4AM, so we packed the bikes in the car the night before and have everything ready to go so that all we had to do in the morning was put on our kits, eat breakfast and throw our gear bags in the car. The alarm went off waaaayyyy too early on Sunday morning, and by 3:45 we were on our way to Gaiole. A short 20 minute drive later, we were parked and unloading the bikes. We were at the start line at about 4:20, and there were only about 20 people ahead of us. But the 5AM start there were nearly 400 packed behind us.

A bit about the bike. I rode a 1985 Vitus 979 with a full Mavic group, Cinelli bar and stem, 32 hole Wolber TX clinchers with 28mm Continental 4000 All Season tires, front gearing 42x52 and a six speed 13-30 freewheel. I have had the bike since March and was riding it on short Monday rides most of the spring and summer. I still do some Masters racing, so I was on my carbon bike most of the time. My last race was the first week of August, so after that I was on the Vitus full time. I did a hundred mile day every weekend, and made sure to throw in some dirt for good measure. I can't emphasize how important it is to do this. L'Eroica is a long day in the saddle, and if you don't want it to be a death march, get some long days in ahead of the event. This not only gets you ready, it gets the bike ready. 100km of Italian gravel is a real test of your machine.

Anyhow, 5AM and we are off. A bunch of people go bawls out right at the start, but I am not into that. It was around 50 degrees and clear at the start. I had on shorts, a wool jersey, arm warmers and a plastic bag under my jersey and thin leather gloves. I ran into a bit of trouble with my front light, I could not stop it from rotating down when the road was bumpy, and 200 lumens was not enough light on a dirt road. I had to piggyback off of my friends. The sun came up just as we pulled into the first check point. 5 minutes in and out was the goal, so we topped off the bottles, ate some great food and filled up the pockets with banana, cheese and meat. One of my goals was to eat no bike race food such as gels or powerbars. Two hour later we were at the second check point, but one of my friends turned off as planned to do the 135km route. Gene had been slightly injured over the summer and was unable to train enough to feel he was ready for the full thing. He called us around noon to say he was the first finisher on the 135, complete with a moto escort for the last 60km yelling at him in Spanish. That ending up being a common language between Gene and the moto driver.

Back on the 205 course and through check point 3, we were nearing the Asciano climb. The route has a good bit of climbing, but this is the only one that causes me concern. It is a series of six ramps, but they are very steep. A few km earlier we had merged back with the riders doing the 135, so there was a lot of traffic. I kept saying to Robert, "I think we are through the worst of it." But then we came to the checkpoint at the base of the hill. Holy underpants was it packed! This was our longest stop just because we had to wait to sign in, wait for food, wait for water, and then nudge our way along the road to get to clear roads and remount the bikes. Even then, we had to pick our line carefully on the climb because everyone was walking the hill on the steep parts. But we managed to clear it. Last year I was at my limit in a 42x28, but the extra two teeth I had this year made a big difference. We reached the last checkpoint, still was pretty crowded, and started the last two hour leg. With about 32km to go, we passed our apartment and dropped off our lights, and the unneeded clothing. We had also split off from the 135 route and were now on clear roads. The final 15 km or so merged us on to the 75km route, but most of them had already finished. We still had to be wary on the final downhill that dropped us in to town. Across the line and onto the finish platform in 9h55m. Not bad, turns out we were the 9th and 10th finishers on the day.

I had been introduced to the promoter, Claudio the day before by Carlo. Claudio took a look at me and said I was too fat to be a bike racer. So after the ride on Sunday, I reintroduced myself, told him I was the ninth finisher at just under 10 hours. He took another look at me and said I was still too fat. Sometimes you just can't win. Carlo said Claudio says that to everyone, though.

All in all, it was a great day on the bike. So much more happened that I did not write about. We saw the sun rise over the vineyards, wildlife, crazy Italian drivers, Canadian golfers, etc. Feel free to ask me any questions about logistics, equipment and the ride itself. I love this ride.

Mr. Pink
10-15-2014, 03:51 PM
Awesome. Thanks.

So, do you think a rental bike would suffice? How much were they selling the bikes for?

Did you wind up breathing a lot of dust?

Bikegeek1968
10-15-2014, 06:36 PM
Awesome. Thanks.

So, do you think a rental bike would suffice? How much were they selling the bikes for?

Did you wind up breathing a lot of dust?

I don't know about the rental bikes. A lot of people were using them for the shorter rides. The offerings were certainly better than what I saw back in 2011, but I would give the tires, wheels and brakes a lot of attention. Personally, I invested a lot of time and effort into my preparation this year, so I tend to be rather detailed in prepping my equipment. Plus, I did not see any larger bikes, and if you were to try 205km on a bike you have never ridden before, well, that could be difficult. Prices for complete road bikes started around E400 and went up from there.

As for dust, there was not much. My bike and legs had a fine coat, but airborne particulates stayed low and I did not feel I was breathing any in. No black booger syndrome after the ride.

Andrevich4
01-23-2015, 07:37 PM
Great event. I did the 205km on a rental from steel vintage. A couple of notes:

1. No taxis in Tuscany. I stayed in Radda and walked (yes, walked) 9 km to register. Btw... If wife and/or kids are coming Radda is great because it's on the route.

2. I rented a bike from Alex at steel vintage and it made the travel much easier.

3. The food was unique but by the 3rd rest stop I couldn't look at one of the tarts for having had too much. After the 2nd to last rest stop I stopped in a cafe and got a doppio macchiato sensa schuma (cortado in american parlance) and was good to go.

4. Tough route but doable. Start as early as you can. The festivities on Saturday and Sunday evening are enough to get the flavor in my opinion. Doing the big hills and the Strada Bianchi with the other folks are what I enjoyed most about it. I debated doing the shorter route to enjoy the scene more but am glad I did the 205km.

Absolutely do it! PM with questions as I'm in Italy and can help with travel.

cnighbor1
01-23-2015, 09:01 PM
here is photos from 2012 https://www.flickr.com/photos/8379107@N03/collections/72157631827514739/ this is Bob Freeman photo alum of Davidson cycles

John Price
01-26-2015, 09:57 AM
Did the 135K route (but more like 145K since I got lost at the end!). Definitely a bucket list event and experience.

I posted a lengthy description with links to photos here and on VS - do a search if you're interested.

If I ever get the chance I'll definitely do it again.

John