Organisers of gravel events are the first to point this out: “Of course. When you imagine Strade Bianche, the mind of a gravel enthusiast immediately goes to Tuscany and, in particular, to Val d’Orcia. Therefore, any gravel event that is organised outside this scenario must inevitably be prepared to pay a price: matching the landscapes traversed by the Tuscan carriage roads. Living up to this comparison is the first great challenge that the organisers have to be ready to face”.
This is why it’s an absolute must to pedal across the Crete Senesi: to take in the striking beauty of an area that is innately gravel but so intimately linked to hospitality, as well.
For instance, the long hilly stretches that lead the Strade Bianche lover to the charming pool situated in the central “Piazza delle Sorgenti” at Bagno Vignoni, where you can enjoy the town’s celebrated hot springs waters, can also be used as a starting point for the famous countryside bicycle outings in search of traditional food and drink.
“Tuscany’s characteristic penchant for high-quality hospitality makes life hard for those who wish to lead people to the discovery of other gravel-cycling destinations. Just think how rewarding it must feel for a cycling tourist to know that a well-known winery is but a bike ride away. Let’s just say that Tuscany already possesses everything that bicycle touring requires: it not only enjoys a privileged position but it is also a model to aim for”.
Val d’Orcia is a land of countless scenic gems along a Strade Bianche nestled in the cypress trees; so many that, to try and include them all, three possible routes have been created for the Val d’Orcia Gravel – the new gravel event that will take place in Montalcino on 23 October, 2022.
The names of the three trails well represent the reason for which those who organise gravel experiences in other places really feel the weight of the comparison. They are Frugale (“frugal” – 37 km), Saporito (“delicious”- 74 km) and Goloso (“tempting” – 118 km). In addition, on 22 October, a guided trekking excursion along the vineyards of Brunello includes a tour of a winery.
All to underline yet again – if still not clear – the attraction of an event that is as unique as the enchanting place hosting it. And a delectable recon tour on the saddle of a Rave SLR was imperative. From Montalcino to any of the sites embedded among the Crete Senesi hills.
THE BIKE OF THIS ARTICLE
RAVE SLR – BLACK GREY; MATT
Traveling new roads is not just an attitude. It can also become the target for someone who has been making bicycles for over 116 years.
With Rave SLR we have set our sights on new horizons, creating a product with two separate souls, perfect for all-road, perfect for gravel, but the same incredible racing inclination. Rave SLR will be a new cycling experience, unexpected for many.