maandag 24 oktober 2016

ROC D'AZUR

Since my childhood, I've spent most of my holidays at the French Riviera, and in particular in Fréjus; where every year in October the ROC D'AZUR takes place.
Because Sara cannot get days off in school, we've never participated at this race.
This year I got the opportunity to get over there with a friend who would be going there all by himself with his camper.


This seemed a perfect moment to go there and have some after summer sunny rides at the 'Côte d'Azur'.


I decided to ride at three races in four days, so I had one day off to chill.
Weather was super. And I had a great time with Koen Lenaerts.

The Roc d'Azur is a huge event with over 20000 particpants over 5 days of MTB'king.


All sorts of races are organised and during the whole event there's a chill atmosphere amongst all riders.

End of season for the most of us makes it a lot less stressy.


The first day I could start in the 3rd wave for a 52km MID ROC, and soon I was riding with the fastest guys of that wave in front. The start is quite flat for a few km's and then up- and downhill sections follow up at a very fast pace.


After 40' we got stuck between the slowest riders of the startingwaves before us.
I decided not to battle for places, but to enjoy the nice trails.  I got rewarded with a nice 39th place at the finish. And so I got my first ever ROC d'AZUR finishers' shirt.

On friday I was listed for the Roc Marathon. 83km's in the Backcountry of the Fréjus shore.
Same wave, some of the guys I already knew from the day before. I managed once again to race with the top 20 riders of that wave.

But there have been so many riders starting earlier, that thins got chaotic in the single trails sections.
Koen, who started 1 hour before me, was a bit struggling when I catched up with him. We rode an hour together, but then I decided it would be better to get my own pace back again, and finish strong in this very nice and sometimes really technical marathon.
I reached the finish in less than 6 hours, not to exhausted.
And I got the second T-shirt.

On saturday I helped out Elliot on the MUC Off stand.


Quite nice experience to get a glimp behind the scenes of our future partner.  I also visited the bike show.



And guess what, I won a journey at Chamonix for four during one week in a chalet. Lucky me.


On sunday, the same day Koen and I would be getting home again, I was registered for the Roc d'AZUR Queens Race. 54km on the same tracks we were doing the days before.
Someone at the startingline told me it was his 7th participation, and every year, the whole bunch gets stuck at the first downhill section.


As he said, things were so dramatical (over more than 1km people were standing still); I decided to break left and to find my own way through those beautiful landscapes and would be heading back again to the Base Nature.


I found some great sections in my quest for the way back, and after 46km's I arrived solo but not unhappy at the finish.  No classification, but next time I'll make sure to be registered in the first starting waves.

The ROC d'AZUR is an ASO event which has grown very fst the last few years.
Might ask the question if the maximum capacity is not reached by now.

After all a great meeting with this event. Saw a lot of familiar faces. Met some great new people.


Got to know Koen better, and fairly this guy is a great company.

Now season also stops for me, and I will be taking some rest now. And then we will be preparing Sara's next season.

THX  to the partners for the trust and support.
















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