In the 39th edition of the Roc d’Azur in France, the women’s podium was decorated in the tricolore, with French riders occupying the top 3 spots and Noémie Garnier victorious. Racing in her blue, white and red U23 French champion’s jersey, the rider from Sarthe blitzed the course in 2 h 49′27″ to succeed Pauline Ferrand-Prévot as Champion. A Roc regular since her O15 years, the 22-year-old slowly but steadily powered away as the miles went by.
“Winning the Roc d’Azur in my very last race in the U23 national champion’s jersey is amazing!” said a delighted Noémie. “I eased into my pace and had a blast today. The climb up Le Bougnon sent shivers down my spine. It felt like the Tour de France. The ascent flew by. I made the decision to come here on Thursday evening. I hit the road on Friday, spent 9 hours travelling from Le Mans and got here in time to win! Today, I savoured every kilometre, the atmosphere, the crowds, the sun. It was awesome. The Roc is quite something.” Constance Valentin (2 h 56′29″) and Marine Allione (2 h 58′44″) completed a French 1-2-3. Juliette Labous, fifth in the last Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift, finished an impressive eighth in her Roc d’Azur debut, racing alongside her Team DSM stablemate Léa Curinier.
“We’re really pleased with how this edition went”, said Vivien Hocquet, the coordinator of the Roc d’Azur. “We’ve had 19,000 participants across all events. It was a bumper year. The show was also a resounding success, with 300 exhibitors and a packed venue every day. The fabulous weather allowed us to make the most of this environment that we get to race in. Everything fell into place.”
Mountain biking is still the beating heart of the event, but the Roc Family has been expanding for several years and now spans triathlon, gravel grinders, trail running and, since this edition, hikes. “The Roc d’Azur family keeps growing. The trail run was a big hit again after its launch last year. On top of that, the hike met with widespread acclaim as more than 450 people took to the trails. This is exactly what the Roc d’Azur is all about: a cocktail of fun and nature!”
Next year, the Roc d’Azur will turn 40, fit as a fiddle and with its zest for life intact. The 40th edition of the event that originally launched in 1984 will mark 40 years of an event that has gone down in the history of the sport. “We’ll soon start brainstorming about our plans for the sporting aspect of the event, of course, but also about how to celebrate this anniversary”, continued Vivien Hocquet. “We’ve been in Fréjus since 1997 and last year we extended our partnership until 2027. The Roc d’Azur continues to grow with the backing of our partners, including Fréjus, Roquebrune-sur-Argens, Saint-Raphaël and Esterel Côte d’Azur Agglomération. Forty years is a nice number and we’re going to celebrate it!”