Monte Paschi Eroica Preview

The second annual MPE, Italia's answer to Paris-Roubaix is right around the corner, due up this weekend Saturday March 8.  This year's event keeps the same winning formula as the first and that means DIRT ROADS Baby!  

Now those who know me know that I love to ride me a road bike over some dirt roads.  These rare beauties are almost a thing of the past here in my beloved Sauratown Mountains, NCDOT having had their way with them over the past decade.  This has forced us further up into the hills of Virgina in search of these rare diamonds of the rough.

Now along comes this equally rare, retro-event over some of the most beautiful gravel roads I've ever seen, the sterrati bianche (white gravel).

Some of you may remember this find of a month or so ago, video from the 2007 edition. Video Link

There is a whole website of info here but it's all in Italian, so I can't pass on much info  about it.  One of the news article does seem to say the Cipo will be there?!!!  Will someone please check this out and confirm?

Team Slippy will be there with the big news being Maggie's return to racing action.  Cue the Jaws Music.

There are more tid-bits here, here and the Chef's review from last year is here.

The only new kink in this retro new event is it's date on the calendar, moving from October to March.  The Chef does a great job at listing why it should have stayed put.  Basically that we (I at least) begin to lose enthusiasm for Pro Racing after the euphoria of the TdF.  Falling Leaves and the WC's are all there is to fill the void of the fall.  Eroica was perfectly positioned to fill the void and give us something to really look forward to.  I assume that it was moved to the spring to serve as a build up for P-R and to attract more pros.  This seems to be born out by the line up which includes Ballan, Stuey and now Mags, who will have the support of Meatball and Cozza von Tutti.

Should be great fun.  No word yet from CF about broadcast, so if you find something let us know.

Startlist here.

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