In adopting these secondary roads this modern race appropriates the past, anchoring itself in a distant age when cyclists and motorists alike used dust tracks. Lacquered composite frames and bright corporate logos are dulled by the chalky dust and if the conditions are really bad then our modern riders resemble their predecessors from a century ago even more.
Strade bianche is Italian for “white roads” and the name comes from the white-grey dust roads of the Tuscany region in Italy. The region has excellent sealed roads but in order to reach some villages it is still necessary to use the dust tracks. Note these are not cobbled but instead use a chalky-white fine gravel as the top surface. When dry you can slide in the corners, when wet the material binds better but remains treacherous.