Following the success of the first edition of the Eroica race for professionals, race organisers RCS Sport have decided to move the race to the early-season date of March 8.

The 180km race will be held over the same dirt roads that wind through the Chianti vineyards in Tuscany, with the finish in the spectacular Piazza del Campo in the centre of Siena.

According to the race organisers Paolo Bettini (Quick Step), Tour of Flanders winner Alessandro Ballan (Lampre) and Daniele Bennati and Filippo Pozzato (Liquigas) have already confirmed they will ride and many of the teams that will ride Tirreno-Adriatico (March 12-18) are expected to travel to Italy a few days early to test their form on the dirt roads.

EROICA SPORTIVE

In 2007 the professional race was held just two days after the Eroica sportive but this year the two races take separate roads, with the Eroica sportive confirmed for Sunday October 5.

Entries officially opened on February 1, with information about entry and accommodation available on the official website (www.eroica.it).

With a tasty pasta dinner organised for the Saturday night and special prizes for those who ride on vintage bikes that do not have hidden cables and clipless pedals, the weekend is a great way to end the season. In 2007 more than 4000 people tested their form on the dirt roads, riding one of the 200, 135. 75 or 38km courses.