The Strade Bianche is held in the Tuscany region in central Italy, which is known for its rolling hills, and numerous wineries. The name translates to “white roads” and stems from the historic white gravel roads that are a defining feature of this race. The race was first held in 2007, making it one of the newer races.
The Strade Bianche gained rapid popularity and prestige and can be called the initiator of the renewed interest in gravel riding. It is a major event on the UCI cycling calendar that attracts all the top-tier professional road race teams.
The white gravel roads showcasing the Tuscan countryside are little more than country farm lanes connecting vineyards and villages of the picturesque Chianti region, providing a unique character to the races. I tried to capture the white dust roads snaking their way through the Tuscan countryside in my illustration. The winding roads and steep climbs make maintaining traction on the fine gravel a struggle. The race is a true test of riders’ climbing abilities and bike handling skills.