"Strade Bianche is brutal, beautiful, dramatic, and above all, thoroughly entertaining" but Daniel Lloyd doesn't believe it merits upgrade to Monument status

With the 2024 edition of Strade Bianche set to be the toughest, longest and most difficult in the relatively short history of the Italian one-day race, there have been some calls to upgrade the race to mythical Monument status.

Currently, just five races hold the right to call themselves Monuments, Milano-Sanremo, the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Liège - Bastogne - Liège and Il Lombardia. These are seen as the most renowned and most illustrious one-day races on the calendar. So should Strade Bianche be added to this holy grail of cycling? Well according to GCN expert and former top-10 finisher on the infamous white roads, Daniel Lloyd the answer is clear.

"Should Strade Bianche be considered a Monument? No," Lloyd writes in a column for the GCN website, although he has plenty of praise for the race. "It has most of the key ingredients, exactly what those ingredients are is anyone’s guess, but it’s quickly captured the imaginations of cycling fans, new and old, around the world. The gravel was, and is a novelty, and as the years pass by, the roll of honour is increasingly becoming a who’s who of modern greats. Riders want to do it, fans want to watch it."

So what are Lloyd's arguments for denying Strade Bianche monument status? "1. Its short history (2024 will be the 18th men’s edition) and 2. Its distance, or lack thereof," Lloyd elaborates, although one of those has been addressed this year with the race being longer than ever before. "When RCS Sport revealed the route for the 2024 men’s race, we found out that it would be over 200km for the first time in its history, 214km to be precise. Is that RCS trying to make their own case? Or are they simply meddling with the ingredients that have already proven to be a winning formula, hoping for an even tastier dish?"

"Going back to the original question, though, my actual answer is this: I don’t care," Lloyd concludes. "I will be glued to my screen on Saturday, just like hundreds of thousands of others, and that’s really all that matters. Strade Bianche is brutal, beautiful, dramatic, and above all, thoroughly entertaining. Let’s just enjoy it for what it is."

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