Even if we can’t single out any rider in this photograph, the essence of the Strade Bianche is clearly there.
The gentle rolling hills around Siena, with their iconic shades of green, one next to another. The brownish farmsteads perched on top, surrounded by the olive trees. The blue sky with just a few white clouds that make it look even brighter and clearer. And a road, of course.
A road that runs down the hill, takes a sharp bend to the left and then levels out a little, heading who knows where. A road that would be inconspicuous in everyday conditions, but which takes on a third dimension in the clouds of dusts blown up by the riders and by the cars in the convoy. A road that is now the real focus of the scene.
Cycling has the power to turn a small and remote road into the centre of the world, into a name worth remembering – Colle Pinzuto, Monte Sante Marie, Le Tolfe. The power to inspire us to take a ride on a road like this, at least just once. That’s the magic of this sport, the magic of the Strade Bianche.