Strade Bianche organiser: We want the race to be a Monument

The men's race has been extended to over 200km for the first time with the Monument status in mind

Clock08:44, Saturday 2nd March 2024
Fabian Cancellara won Strade Bianche three times in his career

© Getty Images

Fabian Cancellara won Strade Bianche three times in his career

Strade Bianche organisers RCS Sport have gone on record stating that they want their race to become one of cycling’s Monuments.

There are currently five recognised one-day Monuments in the professional sport, and there has been a running debate for several years as to whether Strade Bianche should be added to the prestigious collection.

Currently, Milan-San Remo, the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Il Lombardi have the coveted status and the term ‘Monument’ has been in circulation since the late 1940s.

Read more: No Egan Bernal but Ineos Grenadiers rumble towards Strade Bianche with a stellar team around Tom Pidcock

All five Monuments date back over 100 years, with the first edition of Liege-Bastogne-Liege taking place in 1892. Strade Bianche, first appeared on the racing calendar in the 2000s.

RCS Sport already run Milan-San Remo and Il Lombardia, as well as stage races Tirreno-Adriatico and the Giro d’Italia for both the men’s and the women’s peloton. 

Strade Bianche was first known as Monte Paschi Eroica, and initially stemmed from a granfondo before the pro race event was created in 2007. In 2015 the race changed its name to Strade Bianche – Eroica Pro and in 2017 the race entered the UCI’s WorldTour - the highest ranking status for a race. The women’s race began in 2015.

Read more: Should Strade Bianche be considered a Monument?

This year the race has increased its length, stretching out to 200km for the first time, with the riders in the men's field taking on 215km. A further 35km of gravel sectors have also been added, and according to race boss Mauro Vegni, those alterations were made with the Monument status in mind. The five Monuments all take place across distances above 250km.

"We would like to become a Monument. And so the race must be more than 200 kilometres long,” Vegni told Sporza ahead of this year’s races.

"By adding extra kilometres, we want to make the race even more epic. As if it were a race from the past. The race is already tough and we are only at the beginning of the season. The roads are still heavy and dirty."

Not all the riders have been happy about the route changes with some suggesting that the race has lost some of its charm and that the additional gravel sectors have tipped the balance even further towards the pure climbers. The biggest concern this year could be the weather.

It has rained in Siena for the last few days and poor conditions are expected on race day.

“The weather conditions will make it a lot tougher. The gravel strips are more dangerous," Vegni said.

"If young riders don't pay attention, it could cause dangerous situations. You will have to keep your bike under control. Visibility is also less good. And maybe the wind will also play a role?"

Do you think Strade Bianche should be given Monument status? Let us know in the comments below or vote in our Twitter poll.

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