Most of the big manufacturers now produce 'gravel bikes', too, which aren't too dissimilar to cyclo-cross bikes, and feature disc brakes, and clearance for wide tyres, and often provision for adding racks for off-road touring, with an accent on fun and comfort rather than pure speed.
Plus, everyone's favourite pro races these days are Paris-Roubaix and Strade Bianche – you can keep your Tours de France and Giri d'Italia – with the former featuring big, bad cobbled sectors, and the latter, newer-kid-on-the-block race boasting sections of Tuscan 'white roads', more in line with the gravel riding craze.
The Strade Bianche even grew out of an amateur gravel event – L'Eroica – which started in 1997, and which takes riders on epic adventures on the 'white roads' around Gaiole in Chianti in Tuscany, and has grown in popularity with each year that passes. This year's Eroica just happened to take place on Sunday, on the same day as Paris-Tours with its revamped route.
Many would argue that the cobbled roads that feature at Roubaix are a significantly different kettle of fish to gravel riding, which is certainly the case, but the 'spirit' remains the same: riders, riding or racing bikes, on the kinds of surfaces that are a throwback to a time before tarmac.
And the TV pictures really were spectacular at Paris-Tours this weekend, with the riders winding their way through lush, green vineyards en route to the traditional finish on the Avenue de Grammont in Tours.
However, like Lefevere, AG2R La Mondiale's Oliver Naesen wasn't really a fan of the new route.
"I thought the tracks were a bit much," he said on his team's website. "A lot of riders punctured due to the sharp stones, which made the race a bit of a lottery.
"Let's just say that it was an experience," Naesen said.
"The new format of the race definitely made for a spectacular final," was the opinion of Dimension Data's Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, who was the team's highest finisher in 34th place, although he felt he would have finished a lot higher up the order if it weren't for those pesky gravel sectors.
"Unfortunately luck wasn't on our side, as me, Julien [Vermote], Edvald [Boasson Hagen] and Nic [Dougall] all suffered punctures. Bernie [Eisel] gave me a wheel after my first puncture, but after a second one, there wasn't much we could do anymore.
"It's very disappointing right now, because I felt really good, but that's racing I guess," he said, and indeed it is.
"If you're riding well, the course is nice," added LottoNL-Jumbo's Jos Van Emden, who finished in 10th place. "But some of the paths were too bad."
Groupama-FDJ's Arnaud Démare, who was third at Paris-Tours in 2013 and second in 2016 on the old course, wasn't really a fan, either, but at least took the new course in good humour, even cracking a rather good play-on-words wine joke after having come home in 14th place.
"It was a lovely parcours, and it must have looked great on TV, but I preferred the old route, which was just as good and still spectacular. Our bikes weren't really set up for those vineyard tracks, though, and the riders were exploding in bunches of twenty," he wrote, adding both a smiley face and a glass of wine emoji – and quite rightly pleased with his use of 'bunches', with the French word for twenty – vingt – not too dissimilar to the French word for wine: vin.