Italy is well known to cyclists for its white gravel farm roads, mainly thanks to the annual Strade Bianche classic and Eroica gran fondo events held in central Tuscany. But Italy’s heartland does not have ownership of these memorable pathways. In fact, they can be found around much of Italy, where limestone remains rich throughout this fertile land. Even in the north, where the plains of the eastern Veneto region climb into the Alps, the white chalk-like roads can be found skirting the vineyards and olive orchards on the lush hillsides that dot this rich landscape.They provide the perfect terrain to test the Wilier Jaroon, an elegant new gravel bike.

Words and Images: James Startt


“It’s the perfect compromise,” says Luca, who lives in Bassano del Grappa. “It’s is the ideal way to bring together mountain biking and road riding.” Luca, who is a top local mountain biker, jumped at the chance to try out the new Jaroon. And he looked no further than the local grappa vineyards around Bassano—home to one of the world’s most coveted liqueurs—to test ride this elegant bike with its steel frame and carbon fork.

As he suited up, it was clear that Luca was more than ready as he wiped clean his stylish Moncler vintage ski glasses. And soon enough he was off, sprinting up the first rise and jumping off the descent. “I come from mountain biking, so the gravel bike is really exciting to me,” he said. “I just love to be able to get off the main roads and get away from it all. And the Jaroon allows me to go off road while still maintaining a road feel. I just love the gravel bike. It has a different feel than mountain bikes. There is something more direct about them. And of course as soon as you start climbing you feel the difference.”

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