Roadbikes Offroad

The Strade Bianche might be the best known example. But there’s the Slag om Norg in The Netherlands, Dwars door het Hageland in Belgium, and there’s even one in France; Tro-Bro Léon. And I’m almost forgetting about the Plug Streets in Gent-Wevelgem.
Most of you will have noticed I’m talking about bike races which involve unpaved roads, mostly gravel. The beauty of these races isn’t just the unpredictable and entertaining way they usually unfold, but also that they ride these unpaved roads with normal roadbikes; at most with slightly wider tyres. This in contrast to the growing hype of new crossbreed gravelbikes, which house up to 50mm wide tyres and have a less aggressive geometry. I wondered if you really need such a bike for gravel riding in The Netherlands, or that a normal roadbike would suffice.

Got excited? Check out Wielrenblad for more gravel-goodness. The route is available here!