Sarrou and Moschetti fly the Tricolore
French rider Jordan Sarrou savours the moment on the finish line. The 26-year-old, who also took the 2014 and 2016 editions of the Roc d'Azur, is now level with Miguel Martinez (1997, 2004 and 2013) as joint record-holder of the event. French champion Victor Koretzky was left to rue his chances in third place after getting dropped in the finishing straight, watching as Sarrou outsprinted Estonian Peeter Pruss, the winner of the Canyon Roc Marathon on Friday, for the win.
The 2018 French cross-country marathon champion and third-placed rider in Friday's Canyon Roc Marathon, Margot Moschetti, was cautious before the start of the women's race (40.2 km). It all came down to a three-way sprint in which the 24-year-old narrowly beat Kataržina Sosna, denying the Lithuanian winner of the Canyon Roc Marathon a repeat victory. Another French rider, Léna Gérault, took the bottom step of the podium.
A family celebration before the clash of titans
It is only natural for gravel grinding, a genre halfway between mountain biking and road racing that has exhibited spectacular growth over the last few years, to have a place in the Roc d'Azur. The Mavic Gravel Roc pit gravel gobblers against a 65.4 km course with an altitude difference of 1,400 m on Saturday. "Everyone should give it a go", says Cédrick Dubois, who won the race with a time of 2 h 30′24″ after claiming the Étape du Tour de France last summer. "Gravel grinders are the missing link between mountain biking and road racing. All sorts of riders can have fun. The atmosphere is very friendly and I'm really pleased that the Roc d'Azur decided to add this genre to its programme." After a blistering start put him in the early lead, a big, ill-timed puncture near the halfway point knocked cyclo-cross champion Steve Chainel out of the race. However, he made it back in time to take part in the Roc Star Game alongside some of the biggest names in mountain biking, including Kilian Bron (downhill), Isabeau Courdurier (world no. 1 in enduro), Fabien Barel (downhill) and Nicolas Roux. "We all come from different genres, so we don't get to meet up and talk very often", explains Chainel. "The Roc Star Game gives us the chance to have a blast and share the fun with our fans." Participants in the Gravel Origins 83 also reached Fréjus later in the day after completing a two-day, 280 km trek that took them through the majestic landscapes of the Var department from the Mediterranean coast to Verdon Gorge.
Geismayr and Sosna take the Canyon Roc Marathon
Moments after crossing the line, Austrian Daniel Geismayr collapses in the finish area. It took him 3 h 46′21″, but he has grabbed his second win in the Canyon Roc Marathon, two years after the first one. The 84 km race, which is part of the UCI international calendar, has seldom been as closely fought as today, with six riders still in the mix as it came into the finishing straight. "It was rather unexpected because I've often lost races in sprints", points out the winner. "We set a high pace from the start and stuck together from beginning to end. I gave it my all in the sprint. Winning the Canyon Roc Marathon is important to me because the field is always very strong and the course is very tough." Dutchman Hans Becking and Estonian Peeter Pruus took the other steps on the podium. Colombian Héctor Leonardo Páez León, who emerged victorious in the World Championships this summer, finished in fifth place. The Canyon Roc Marathon, the third out of five legs of the Roc Trophy (in which participants take part in one race every day and their results are then added up), saw Poland's Piotr Brzózka, the winner of last year's edition, pad his lead with two days to go.
Renaud Lavillenie has a blast in the Roc d'Azur!
The Tri Roc on Thursday at the start of what was going to be an intense experience in Fréjus (Var) on the second day of the 36th edition of the Roc d'Azur. The presence of pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie, fresh off his participation in the World Athletics Championships in Doha, made the Tri Roc Relais the focus of attention. After a perfect set-up by three-time European triathlon champion Frédéric Belaubre, who had finished the 1,500 m swimming sector far ahead of the competition, Renaud Lavillenie had a blast in the 24 km MTB sector. Despite not having great legs today, the 2012 Olympic gold medallist, a regular fixture in the Roc d'Azur, handed over to Pierre Le Corre, one of the world's top triathletes, for the final 11 km running sector, with the team finishing third overall.
In the individual Tri Roc, Maxime Chané and François Carloni, who are both part of the same team and building up towards the XTERRA World Championship scheduled for late October in Hawaii, crossed the finish line holding hands. Cédric Fleureton, who has also qualified for the World Championship, recovered from a flat tyre to finish third. Another World Championship competitor, Alizée Paties, won the women's race by a wide margin ahead of Lucie Croissant and Sophie Rodot.
Rady to Roc!
A torrent of mountain bikes pouring into the nature base in Fréjus is a usual sight in early October. Close to 150 participants took part in Génération Roc Sport, an event reserved for members of organisations, to kick off the 36th edition of the Roc d'Azur on Wednesday. From today until Sunday, almost 20,000 mountain bikers of all ages (starting at age 2 with balance bikes), levels (from beginners to the world elite) and disciplines (races, recreational rides, electric-assist bikes, gravel grinders and more) will push the pedals on the tracks of Les Maures Massif in one of the 35 events on the programme.
The Rallye Roc XC, held as an enduro race with a cross-country spin over a distance of 33 km, including 12.3 km of timed sectors, brought down the curtain on the first day of racing. Over 530 riders signed up for the new event in its debut.
A full house of elite sportspersons
Having been crowned cross-country champion in Canada at the end of August and mountain biking marathon champion last weekend in Switzerland, Pauline Ferrand-Prévot will come to display her rainbow jersey on the tracks and aisles of Roc d’Azur, from 9th to 13th October, in Fréjus (Var). For all elite riders, it is the essential event for bringing the season to a close in the most pleasant of ways. With the sunshine of the Var, top level races in a magnificent setting, opportunities to meet partners and exchange with fans, everything is in place to make the event as enjoyable as possible.
Show-ing our passion!
Packed with 35 races and recreational rides, the programme of the Roc d'Azur has something for all MTB lovers, from rookie amateurs to seasoned pros. The landscapes of Les Maures massif and the Var department will again roll out the red carpet for close to 20,000 riders in a month.
The Roc d'Azur also boasts one of the biggest MTB trade shows on Earth, with almost 300 exhibitors on a surface area of 28,000 m² in the heart of François Léotard nature base in Fréjus. It is the ideal late-season meeting point for brands and riders, featuring the latest bike models, gear and accessories, nutritional products and travel tips.
The summit of mountain biking!
On Wednesday 9th October, the Roc XC Rally will take its place in the Roc d’Azur programme. Based on an enduro type format, the participants will cover 33 km, including 12.3 km against the clock on a route with a cross-country profile.
On Saturday 12th October, the village of Roquebrune-sur-Argens will play host to the riders taking part in the American Roc. Each lap, a rider will be eliminated, guaranteeing a great show and atmosphere!
Launched in 2016, this year the Roc Trophy will be contested over 5 stages (as opposed to 4 previously) and will commence on Wednesday, with a total of 232 km and 5,270 m of gradient.
Fans are increasingly interested by Gravel, a discipline half way between mountain biking and road racing. This year, they will have the opportunity to once again discover the finest landscapes around Fréjus thanks to the Gravel Origins 83 (300 km over two days and 5,000 m of gradient).
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.