The Eroica, one of the toughest events on the cyclosportive calendar, is to return to its original concept for the 2009 edition, which will take place on 4th October in Gaiole in Chianti. Recent editions of the event, now in its 13th year, have seen an increasing number of entrants take to the start line on modern machinery and even mountain bikes. With some 3000 entries expected this year, the organisers have decided to restrict participation in the Eroica to those riding cycles built or using technology dating to 1987 and earlier.
The year 1987 has been chosen as the moment when clipless pedals and concealed control cables became the norm in cycle road racing. However, in order to restrict the entry criteria still further and preserve the spirit of the event, clipless pedals and concealed cables will not be allowed even on cycles built prior to 1987. Furthermore, gear shift levers must be on the down tube, although non-indexed bar-end levers of suitably vintage design will be allowed.
The event offers four distances – the full-on 200km Eroica, the 135km medium, short and ‘cyclotourist’ routes – with the long ride including 110km of strade bianche, the famous loose-surfaced white roads of Tuscany.