The iconic Monuments of cycling have been raced since the late 1800s, and it is the history and legend of these races that are intrinsic to the beauty of the sport.
Few other one-day races truly compare to the five races honoured with the Monument title. However, a mixture of strada sterrata (dirt road), rolling Tuscan countryside, the biggest names in cycling, and some of the greatest medieval architecture in Europe have combined to put Strade Bianche in high regard among fans, in spite of its relative youth.
The inaugural Monte Paschi Eroica in 2007 was born from the Eroica Gran Fondo that precedes the professional race by 10 years, eventually changing its name to Strade Bianche in 2010. In less than a decade, the race has become a firm fixture on the calendar, drawing some of the biggest names in cycling and winners such as Philippe Gilbert, Michel Kwiatkowski, Zdenek Stybar and Fabian Cancellara, who has won the event three times in its short history.
A women’s edition was established in 2015, with Megan Guarnier winning in emphatic style. It was the turn of her teammate and reigning world champion, Lizzie Deignan last season. The race was part of the inaugural Women’s WorldTour and kicks off the second edition of the series this weekend.
2017 sees the race enter the men’s WorldTour calendar for the first time, starting and finishing in Siena.
Click or swipe through the gallery above to see images from the youngest spring Classic on the WorldTour calendar.