The Roc D'Azur is Europe's biggest mountain bike event, taking place over four days in the south of France near Nice at the end of the mountain bike season. However, while it's huge in Europe, not many riders from the UK have heard of it. The 2019 edition recently kicked off and as we're attending, we thought we'd give you five good reasons that you should too.
1. There are races and rides to suit everyone
Unlike many other shows, the focus at Roc D’Azur is all on the riding. Whether you want to race enduro or gravel, do an epic marathon or charge about on an e-bike, the Roc has you covered, with over 36 rides and races to choose from, including the huge, titular Roc D'Azur cross-country race.
2. It’s a chance to ride in the sunshine, beside the seaside
While the weather in the UK is slowly amping up the misery with rain, wind and cold being the predominating theme, the French Riviera where the Roc is based is still enjoying balmy mid-20 degree weather. That means you can go for a dusty ride in your summer kit and then relax by the seaside pour une petit cafe - or bier - afterwards. Try doing that in Britain in October.
3. You can see - and test - new kit from a huge number of brands
As well as all the riding and racing, there’s also a huge expo area so you can check out all the new kit from a huge number of brands. Many of them also have demo bikes available to try out on the nearby trails, with the likes of Canyon, Giant and Lapierre and more having fleets of their latest kit for the public to try at the Roc Test Camp.
4. You get to hang out with the pros
Because it’s such a huge event - and because many of the races are fiercely competitive - there are loads of pro riders in attendance and many of them host rides for attendees. This year you could go for a spin on the new Cannondale Moterra e-MTB with enduro legend Jerome Clementz or do a quiz with champions Fabien Barel and Pauline Ferrand Prévot.
5. The trails are world-class
Some of France's best riders cut their mountain biking teeth near to here, with the likes of Fabien Barel, Nico Vouilloz and more calling the area home. That's something reflected in the standard of the riding, which is excellent. There's something for everyone, from rolling gravel tracks up to seriously challenging and technical rocky descents and climbs - and mud
Our Jon is currently lapping up the sun and sights, but if you fancy checking out the 2019 edition or putting the 2020 event in your calendar, check it out below:
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