The Roc d'Azur flirts with the sun!
The Roc d’Azur, the biggest Mountain Bike event in the world, offers participants the opportunity to satisfy their passion in the grandiose scenery of the Var and the Fréjus region in Southern France. A meeting to now circle on the calendar!
The sun, the postcard scenery with the Mediterranean on one side and the trails winding in the heart of the Massif des Maures range on the other, the Roc d’Azur is much more than a sporting happening. With 35 events on the programme, it is a must do event for all Mountain Bike lovers and enthusiasts, no matter the age or skill level.
The Roc d'Azur setting encourages beautiful rides and the discovery of the region’s steep paths, most often with the Mediterranean Sea in the background.
Registration is open
From 9th to 13th October 2019, the François-Léotard nature base in Fréjus (in Southern France) will play host to the 36th edition of Roc d’Azur. This edition will be marked by many new features. The 20,000 participants expected for the world’s biggest mountain biking event can register from Tuesday 12th February.
2018 Roc d'Azur delivers on its promises
The finale packed an emotional punch, with Stéphane Tempier and Sabrina Énaux winning the elite Roc d'Azur, and put smiles on the faces of the participants in the various races. The highlight of the day, the 52 km Roc d'Azur, attracted 4,5000 riders and brought down the curtain on the 2018 edition on Sunday evening. Even the bad weather at the start of the event, which left the organisers with no choice but to cancel the races scheduled for Thursday for safety reasons, did not stop the 35th edition of the Roc d'Azur from being a resounding success.
The Show was also a crowd-puller, with the numerous visitors and the 300 exhibitors, all faithful to the Roc d'Azur, delighted with the experience. "It was another big success, with again more than 100,000 visitors. We developed a new external area to widespread acclaim. We'll build on that next year. The Show remains a must for everyone who wants to be on the map of mountain biking." To cap the experience, the wide range of activities punctuating the Roc d'Azur over the four-day event again brought all the families of mountain biking together around their shared passion.
Every rider and exhibitor has already pencilled in the dates of the 36th Roc d'Azur, which will take place from 9 to 13 October 2019. The hardest part? Waiting a whole year.
Stéphane Tempier and Sabrina Enaux fly the flag for France in the Roc
Taking a bow on the finish line to salute the fans and savour the moment, 32-year-old Frenchman Stéphane Tempier took his second Roc d'Azur win on Sunday, after his first victory in 2012. Tempier bested fellow Frenchmen Victor Koretzky and Jordan Sarrou on the 52-kilometre course through the Maures Massif. Sarrou, the winner of the 2014 and 2016 editions, failed to equal Miguel Martinez's record of three Roc wins (1997, 2004 and 2013).
Meanwhile, in the Ladies' Roc d'Azur, Sabrina Énaux finally got to raise her arms and lift her MTB in victory before being congratulated by her little daughter, Léonine, at the finish. After a series of high finishes, including second place last year, the 40-year-old Frenchwoman finally clinched victory, succeeding Pauline Ferrand-Prévot on the list of winners.
Steve Chainel victorious on the Mavic Gravel Roc
Today, the Mavic Gravel Roc competitors were the first to set off at dawn for a 67km event (70% trails, 30% asphalt). “It was a proper race but in a fun spirit”, says French cyclo-cross champion and race winner, Steve Chainel. “It is like a giant cyclo-cross race. It is really great. Everyone had a good time.” Elite rider Nicolas Roux displayed the same enthusiasm. “There is a nice mixture between mountain biking and road racing. We were free and that is wonderful.”
The kids were also in action. First with the Pitch Kid Roc Draisienne for the 2 to 4 age group and the Pitch Kid Roc races for those a little bit older where future champions often discover the taste of competition. Sports and a show behind the barriers with the parents often a lot more stressed out than their children.
Great conditions, greater action at the Roc
With the welcome return of the sun, the Charles Aznavour song ‘‘Emmenez-moi au pays des Merveilles’’ or ‘‘Take me along’’ in English was right on point. More than 2,000 participants lined up on the Canyon Roc Marathon start line for an 83-kilometre journey across the Var trails that were, once again, passable after two days of rain. Italy’s Samuele Porro needed just 3hours 52 minutes 14 seconds to make it to the finish and take his second win on the Canyon Roc Marathon after his previous success in 2015.
Starting before sunrise, with the only light coming from their lamps, the riders of the first edition of the Gravel Origins 83 were able to make the most of a very nice and sunny day to make it to the bivouac. They will return to action Saturday to complete their 167-kilometre journey running through the most stunning scenery in the Var Department with most notably the passes through the heart of the Gorges du Verdon canyon.
The show opens while waiting for the action
While unable to compete on the trails, the riders did have the opportunity to visit the show, which opened this Thursday at noon. Salivating looks, smartphones on camera mode, questions asked to exhibitors, they were able to enjoy the atmosphere among the 300 exhibitors on hand in the 28,000m² expo. Because the Roc d’Azur is a must do event, all the major brands showed off their latest gear at the Nature Base in Fréjus. From dream bikes to all the equipment needed for a good ride, visitors will discover the best mountain biking has to offer.
The weather during the last 24 hours has caused significant damage (due to flooding and deterioration of race routes) meaning that the safety conditions required for the Roc to run smoothly cannot be ensured. As a result, all the races programmed for Thursday 11th October have been cancelled.
Naturally, we will keep you up to date on the decision made and the procedure in the case where a definitive cancellation is decided upon.
As regards the village, it was due to open at 10.00 but shall only open at 12.00 at the earliest.
Let the fun begin!
With the first start, first pedal strokes, first sprints and first thrills, the 2018 Roc d’Azur is underway. On Wednesday, at the Fréjus Nature Base, the Génération Roc “Sport pour tous” race kicked off proceedings for the 35th edition of Roc d’Azur on a windy first day. A hundred participants of all ages taking part via associations such as the French Red Cross or also visually impaired riders were not scared off by the rain.