Get behind the barricades, or on the roads, or both!

Image courtesy of Treklens

Thanks to my location on the French Riviera [sounds glamorous – Ed], I’m going to be watching as many live races as my commitments and the racing calendar permit. As a consequence, many of you might start to feel just a tiny, weeny bit envious. I can understand that. I live in a fabulous part of the world where I can rub shoulders regularly with the cycling elite and even ride with them, providing I can catch them!

But you can too, more easily than you might think! Let me explain.

Nice, France’s fifth-largest town, boast its second-busiest airport. Yes, it has flights pretty much to and from everywhere making it readily accessible. As a long-time top tourist stop, the French Riviera has accommodation to suit everyone’s pockets and provides bike-friendly routes for cyclists of all abilities to get out and enjoy the atmosphere, the sea-shore, the countryside and the hilltop villages.

Now, this is where you start to backtrack and make excuses. You don’t speak the language, you don’t know the area, how will you get your bike reassembled? Stop with the doubts! I have a solution to your dilemma: Cycle Cote d’Azur, which does exactly as its name suggests. They do all the hard work for you. You just have to get yourself to Nice by train, boat, plane or car.

The team will collect you, your family and your bikes and whisk you all to their specially selected, family-run, cyclist-friendly hotel in the stunning port of Nice. They can even help you to reassemble your bike and attend to its every need, to ensure you’re ready to go to wherever your heart desires.

Cycle Cote d’Azur have custom packages which allow you to both watch live racing – for example Paris-Nice and Milan San Remo – and ride on those very same roads with their team of dedicated, knowledgeable and polyglot guides. Personally, I think there’s nothing better than watching the professional peloton suffer on the same roads you’ve ridden over a couple of hours earlier. While you’re out and about enjoying the ride, you never know who you might meet up with on the Cote d’Azur roads or just enjoying a coffee in one of the many beachside cafes.

Guess who they bumped into in Monaco? (image courtesy of Cycle Cote d'Azur)

Cycle Cote d’Azur can also help you participate in local cyclosportives like La Charly Berard (Easter) or La Laurentine Andrei Kivilev (late May Bank Holiday). You can test yourselves against the local professional riders who often join in, and the local elite riders who are there to win.

Taking part in an epic event such as L’Etape du Tour? Again, the company runs training camps to help you optimally prepare. But most importantly, Cycle Cote d’Azur will ensure you get greater enjoyment out of your cycling vacation. In addition, they can suggest diversions for non-cycling partners and family members.

But don’t just take my word for it, a number of their clients have already waxed lyrical about what experienced ironwoman Claire Scrutton and former GB rider and Eurosport pundit Emma Davies can provide. Why not give it a try?

Link: Cycle Cote’d’Azur website

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Free Wheeling in France

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