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The Gran Fondo Strade Bianche takes place in one of Italy’s most beautiful locations. The hills of the Senese region are a precious treasure box of landscapes full of rich colors, flavors and scents that play host to the route of the Gran Fondo Strade Bianche.
On Sunday 5 March, the riders will start from Siena, heading towards the village of Costalpino and, riding between sumptuous villas and ancient pievi, approach the first three gravel sectors (2.1km, 4.7km and 4.4km long, respectively). The second sector, at Radi, presents the first challenging ramps, then the route continues to Buonconvento, where the fourth strade bianche sector (5.5km) ends in the heart of the Circondario delle Crete Senesi.
The fifth gravel sector (the longest, at 9.5km) begins shortly after the town of Monteroni d’Arbia, a center characterized by many historic buildings, including more than 20 churches and chapels and a dozen castles. The second part of the route continues towards Arbia, Cross of Carnesecca and Castelnuovo Berardenga, the southernmost town of the Chianti Classico wine region.
Between Montaperti (where on 4 September 1260, a famous battle was fought by the Ghibelline troops headed by Siena and the Guelphs of Florence) and Vico d’Arbia, is the sixth gravel sector – very short at just 0.8km. It introduces the latest 20km of the race, characterized by the unpaved climb towards Colle Pinzuto (2.4km), just inside the territory of Siena, and then the last 1100 meters on strade bianche, at Tolfe, which is within sight of the city of Siena.
But the finish line is still a dozen kilometers away. The route runs along the northern boundary of the ancient city of Siena before reaching its crux: a last short climb that brings the riders to Piazza del Campo – site of the famous Palio horse race – and the finish line of the Gran Fondo Strade Bianche.