The strade bianchi of L'Eroica are unique and have a definite connection to cycling, being the remnants of roads like the ones that people like Coppi, Bartali, Magni, Anquetil and so on would have ridden on.
It may be a nice route, but it's one you can enjoy for free yourself.
THat's not the case either... there is no connection betweens the strade bianche (with the E at the end) and the eroic cycling days of Coppi and Bartali. I am not aware of any race in the area and they are mostly farm tracks used as an access to vineyards. They mock what roads used to be like before everything got covered in tarmac, but they are unlikely to have ever seen Coppi and Magni...maybe Bartali, just because he was local and he might have trained on some.
I know the Monsail trail is open, but if you don't live there, how likely are you to ever cycle on it? The Strade bianche are open too and so is the Koppenberg and the Arenberg forest, but if you don't enter the event it's not even particularly easy to actually find them.
My point was not that they ARE the roads Coppi etc would have ridden on, but that they are LIKE those roads (as I said above). They are probably the closest available thing to the roads used in races of that period, given that most of the roads and mountain passes used in classic races have long since been paved over.
L'Eorica is the closest you can get to riding in similar conditions to that period, that is one of the things that makes it so unique and interesting.
And the fact it takes place in a region where one of the greatest Italian cyclists originates is another connection to history, even if Bartali didn't actually race there as a professional (just like Normandy has a connection to cycling via Robic, Hinault etc).
The route of RVV is signposted and reasonably easy to follow, and maps are also available. So it's not that hard to find the Koppenberg, Muur, Oude Kwaremont etc. The RVV also has the necessary connection, since these are indeed the roads used in some of the most important races.
Up to now, the French don't seem that bothered about making the same kind of tourist attraction out of Paris Roubaix. In fact, there are stories that local government officials used to rush to pave over the cobbles in their area if they heard the race might come through. They thought the cobbled farm tracks gave the area an image of being backward and underdeveloped (consolidating the impression of the people of Le Nord as 'ch'tis').
I think the practice of numbering and preserving the cobbled sections was started by amateurs.
It's a shame, because a Retro Paris Roubaix would be a very interesting event.
And my point about the routes is that the organisers are being misleading, perhaps even dishonest, in claiming that the access to the routes is 'exclusive'. I think this is unfair of them.
As I have said before, one of the various disappointing things about the Eroica Britannia is that there has not been any real attempt to connect the event to British cycling heritage, either by using a route that connects with famous cycling locations, or a region with a strong cycling heritage (Yorkshire would have been the obvious choice via Barry Hoban, Victor Sutton, Brian Robinson, Beryl Burton, Malcolm Elliott etc). Many of these people don't get enough credit and it would have been good to have seen them included in the event somehow.
L'Eroica was originally used to make a political point about the destruction of the strade bianche. The organisers of L'E B could have (gently) made a point about the lack of good cycling facilities in the UK, as well as making a point that Britain has some road racing pioneers who don't get credit for what they did. But they seem to have chosen to use the event to flog cornish pasties and Brooks saddles instead.