It's almost time for Roc d'Azur 2007, the 24th edition of the mountain bike races and celebrations.
If you haven't heard of it, Roc d'Azur is a series of mountain bike events running in October each year. It draws huge crowds - over 14,000 folks participated last year. This year (2007), Roc d'Azur takes place from October 10 to 15th, and still at the Fréjus Base Nature.
While the Roc Marathon is a killer with its 87 km of timed racing across the Maures Mountains, the event offers plenty of other races. The Classic, the Roc d'Azur, sends its competitors pushing up and maneuvering down rusty red rocky paths around the Massif des Maures between the towns of Les Issambres, Roquebrune-sur-Argens and Fréjus. This ride isn't for newbies, but the views of the forest invigorate the spirit just enough to make it up infamous Col du Bougnon and reach the sea view part of the ride.
The Roc Ruelles ride bounces around the streets of Fréjus. Kids between 7 and 14 years old taste MTB races in their own 2.2 to 8 km rides.
For those not quite ready for a technical timed race but longing for an exciting ride, the Rando Roc Rouge (22 km) and the Rando Roc Noire (50 km) are the ticket. These rides are not timed, so you can enjoy the view without the pressure. Here's a sample of the view of the Maures Mountains by the Col du Bougnon.
Check out our entries on the Maures Mountains for suggestions on hikes in the remote Maures hills, just a few minutes away from popular beach resorts.
Besides rides and races, over 250 cycling vendors show off their cycling and mountain bike equipment at the event's "Salon du Roc". It's free.
For a full listing, check out: www.rocazur.com
If you go:
- A medical certificate is required to participate in the events, unless you are from an accredited biking association - consult the rocazur site for details on this. Last year, many folks who came unprepared without a certificate were turned back.
- Helmets are required.
- Biking shorts, jersey, sunglasses, water bottle and long gloves come highly recommended.
- Best place to stay to be close to the gate is Fréjus-Port. Check out Fréjus' Tourism Office for a listing of available accommodations in Fréjus-Port.
|See AzurAlive's many Roc d'Azur Pics on Flickr.|