Cyclist on a mountain bike negotiates a dirt trail in blazing sunshine
Tri Roc/Tri Roc Relais. Image credit: A.S.O. / Aurélien Vialatte

The podiums are often a sight to behold, and the Tri Roc, the showpiece event of the second day of this 39th , was no exception, with multiple regular fixtures on the international podiums. Jules Dumas from Rodez emerged victorious from a 1,500 m swim, a 30 km MTB ride through Les Maures Massif and a 9.6 km run on the nature base to secure his second Tri Roc trophy at the tender age of 22. “When you win a race, you need to show respect by coming back to defend your title”, explained the U23 cross triathlon world champion. “I had a whale of a time, just like last year. Winning the Roc d’Azur is extremely important for athletes like us because it throws us into the spotlight. It was my second-last race of the season. A week after the worlds, I eased up on training. My other goal here was also to have a blast. Check!” He dominated Aurélien Pinel and Frédéric Delarce.

World silver medallist Alizée Patiès scores a hat-trick

Alizée Patiès, the victor of the 2019 and 2021 Tri Roc, was a cut above the rest in the women’s race, cruising to her third win by more than 20 minutes over Solène Marnoni. She came out of the swimming section in the lead and, from then on, it was just about keeping her advantage. “The Tri Roc is a special race because I started with mountain biking when I was 15 and I already came to the Roc d’Azur back then”, said Alizée. “It feels good to be racing! The Roc has an atmosphere like no other. I’ve always enjoyed wrapping up the season here, in the sun.”

Frédéric Dive, Mikael Fanget and Juliette Duquesne took the Tri Roc Relais.

Winners of other races

Garmin Roc Masters : Marc Colom and Sara Michielsen (BEL),
Mid Roc : Lucas Deloison and Cristel Hubacher (SUI),
Roc Trophy #2 :Jarne Vandersteen (BEL) and Ilona Chavaillaz,
Roc Tandems : Loic Ladreyt/Julien Saussac and Célia Aubard/Pierre Darbeau

Ford Roc Marathon

Hugo Drechou determined to retain his title against formidable rivals

The Ford Roc Marathon will be the highlight of Friday, with 91.3 km and an elevation gain of 2,300 m on the menu. Hugo Drechou is back to defend his title after sprinting to victory last year. “My goal is to win again, period”, he warned. “I tried to reproduce the same training plan as last year, when I won on Friday and went on to finish second in the Roc d’Azur on Sunday. I hope to get the same sensations. I’ll try to do even better! I have no choice but to win on Friday to stay on track for this objective.” The young Axel Roudil-Cortinat (third in 2021), crowned French marathon champion this summer ahead of Drechou, will be another asset to the home nation in the battle against the formidable European competition. The Italian Fabian Rabensteiner (runner-up in 2021 and 2022) and Samuele Porro (winner in 2018), the German Martin Seewald (winner in 2021 and third last year) and the Austrian Daniel Geismayr (winner in 2019) are burning with ambition.

Margot Moschetti, the 2014 and 2019 Roc d’Azur champion and a regular contender in the Roc Marathon, should be near the front of the women’s race. Estelle Morel, the runner-up in last year’s edition and silver medallist in the French Championships last July, will also fight to make France proud. However, the foreign contingent is bringing tremendous firepower to bear, with riders such as the Lithuanian Kataržina Sosna, who won in 2019 and 2021, the German Bettina Janas and the Italian Costanza Fasolis (third in 2021).

This Friday, the Esterel Massif is opening up its tracks for the field of the Roc d’Azur for the second time. A series of recreational rides on courses ranging from 24 to 56 km long (49 and 70 km for the gravel versions) will take participants around an area of outstanding natural beauty. Riders will get to choose their distance on the go, depending on their sensations and appetite for physical exertion.

One of the most eagerly awaited events, the Roc Ruelles, will again make sparks fly in the heart of the village of Fréjus when the sun goes down. Adrenaline guaranteed every time that the riders blast down the staircases and narrow alleys of the historic centre, the foot of the church… and the restaurant terraces.