Since it was founded in 1984, the Roc d’Azur has grown to become the worldwide reference in mountain biking. From October 10 to 14, the 2012 edition will open its doors in Fréjus and Roquebrune-sur-Argens to over 18,000 mountain bikers, 250 exhibitors in the biggest MTB show in the world and tonnes of activities to entertain the 150,000 visitors expected at the event.
The Roc d’Azur knows no borders, 18,348 mountain bikers have registered for the event, including 3,200 foreigners from roughly 40 different countries. The largest foreign contingent will be that of the Belgians (985), with the Italians (554), and the Swiss (399) rounding off the podium. The best represented French department is of course the Var, with 869 riders, followed by Isère (667), Alpes-Maritimes (632), Haute-Savoie (622) Bouches-du-Rhône (612) and Nord (576).
The Roc is recommended for those 6 to 77! The youngest participant is 6 years old (1,091 children younger than 14 will test their legs on the KIDS ROC course, representing 7.1% of all participants). The oldest is 77 years old (24 participants aged 70 to 77, or 0.15%). The largest age group is 30–45 years old. 1,194 women will be on the start line of at least one of the races. Well done!
A total of 180,000 participants will take part in the 25 races on the programme, ranging from the Academy of Nice students who will be the first to set off from the nature base on Wednesday afternoon to the world elite going head-to-head on Sunday morning to win the highly prestigious 56 km Roc, as well as the grass mountain bikers tackling the Kid Roc on Saturday afternoon.
The Tri Roc is making its debut in 2012. You cannot miss the first edition of this off-road triathlon which will start from the beach on the nature base on Thursday 11 at 8:30 am. The 300 participants will have to swim 1,500 m, ride 34 km on their MTBs and run 12 km off-road. The field will be headed by Marion Lorblanchet, the 2011 Xterra world runner-up and sponsor of the event, who Marion will come up against triathletes Nicolas Lebrun, Felix Schumann and Lucie Croissant.
A wide range of amazing activities will bring together all the disciplines of the MTB family and spice up the event over four days: the spectacular sessions of the Roc ‘n’ Ride, the BMX Roc Contest, the Freestyl’air show trial, the Pump Track and more.
The Roc d’Azur is the place to go if you want to see the best mountain bikers in the world, and the 2012 edition is no exception, in particular with both Olympic champions, Jaroslav Kulhavý and Julie Bresset, throwing their hat into the ring. Germany’s Moritz Milatz and Switzerland’s Christoph Sauser (author of a Marathon/Roc double last year), Lukas Flückiger, Mathias Flückiger and Alexandre Moos will take the fight to Olympic champion Kulhavý in the main event. France will be banking on Maxime Marotte and Stéphane Tempier.
The ladies’ field is just as good. Many of them are already plotting to succeed Poland’s Maja Włoszczowska, who took a second consecutive win in the Ladies’ Roc last year. Some of the big names in the field are Marielle Saner Guinchard (30th on the UCI ranking) and a handful of French girls, including Fanny Bourdon (6th in the Ladies’ Roc in 2011, 8th in 2010 and 7th in 2009), Sabrina Enaux (6th in 2007 and 2008 and 9th in 2011) and Cécile Ravanel (2nd in 2008 and 5th in 2009).
Julie Bresset will take part in the Powerade Roc Ride on Saturday 13 at 10 am.