Jordan Sarrou aims for a record on the Roc d’Azur









Fréjus, October 8th 2022








Jordan Sarrou aims for a record on the Roc d’Azur




More than ever, this Saturday in Fréjus, Roc d’Azur has demonstrated that it is the event not to be missed by all outdoor sports enthusiasts, regardless of their objectives, age, level of expertise and discipline. This Sunday, with the presence of some of the world’s leading names in the discipline and more than 3,000 participants, the Roc d’Azur race holds some spectacular sport in store.


Key points

·         There were almost 700 participants for the first appearance of trail running at Roc d’Azur with a victory for renowned champion Julien Chorier over 32 km.

·         Saturday also boasted a festive and family atmosphere with rides for all levels and the Ford Kid Roc race for the youngest riders.

·         A top-quality international field will be present for the Roc d’Azur on Sunday, with Jordan Sarrou seeking to collect a fourth title.





©A.S.O./Aurélien VIalatte

©A.S.O./Jérémy Melloul




Roc d’Azur can legitimately lay the claim to being the gathering of choice for all of the outdoor sports families. This Saturday’s programme was a fine illustration, including mountain biking, naturally, on a day largely devoted to rides with, amongst others, the Rando Roc Noire, the Ford Kid Roc for the youngest riders, electrically assisted bike rides thanks to the Shimano Rando Roc Électrique Noire, Gravel riding in the form of the Canyon Gravel Roc and, for the first time, trail running in the Argens valley.

With a start before dawn, the participants in the Canyon Roc Gravel were able to enjoy their favourite discipline, midway between mountain biking and road cycling, in the very best conditions. On completion of the 65.3-km course, Belgian Pierre de Froidmont, a regular on the mountain biking cross-country world cup circuit (and 8th place in the overall rankings this season) triumphed in front of Loan Cheneval and Gilles Mottiez. In the women’s race, Morgane Coston (45th on the Tour de France femmes with Zwift this summer) was victorious, ahead of German Hannah Fandel and Laurianne Plaçais. Romain Debord (Roc Juniors Hommes), Valentin Revaux and Rémy Bourdon (Roc Tandem) were the day’s other mountain biking winners.


A successful debut at Roc d’Azur for the Roc Trail.

The first appearance of trail running at Roc d’Azur proved to be a fruitful first time as it attracted fans of running in nature with almost 700 participants over the three distances on the menu for the Roc Trail (16 km, 32 km and 42 km). Setting off from Roquebrune-sur-Argens, the runners initially headed towards the Domaine de la Bergerie before climbing the Col de Valdingarde pass, the summit of the race, and then tackling the ascent up the Rocher de Roquebrune peak, before finally returning via the Aqueduc des 25 ponts. There was just over 1,500 metres of climbing on the longest race (compared with 515 metres on the 16-km distance and 880 metres over the 32-km course) but most importantly it included the delight of exploring new horizons. History will record the first winners as Alexis Poullot and Laurie Maleysson over 16 km; Julien Chorier, victorious on many ultra-trails throughout the world and twice on the Grand Raid de la Réunion or the Mont Fuji Ultra Trail, and Swiss runner Emma Bilham, a world-renowned triathlete, over 32 km; and finally, over 42 km, Spaniard Pau Zamora Peres and Manon Gras, a winner of major trails in France in recent months. “Honestly, I’m amazed,” admitted Chorier, who will be taking part in the Diagonale des Fous in La Réunion (170 km) in two weeks’ time. “It’s my first time at Roc d’Azur and I even tried out the Canyon Roc Gravel Estérel on Friday. It’s crazy how well organised it is with all these volunteers in the right place at the right time and everything marked out perfectly. The trail route was demanding with a fair share of upturns. You really had to run. It was nice to discover and trail running well and truly has its place in this event”.


The promise of a battle between the champions on the Roc d’Azur

This Sunday, the Roc d’Azur and its 54.5 km of tracks through the Maures Mountains will provide a major extravaganza for its 3,000 participants with the Fournel descent, the Col du Bougnon pass and its thousands of enthusiastic spectators, the Sentier des douaniers path along the Mediterranean coast, the Plage de la Galiote beach and many other legendary sites that make the race unique. In the battle for the title, Jordan Sarrou, the three times winner in 2014, 2016 and 2019, and world champion in 2020, has made it clear that he is aiming for a fourth success to become the sole record holder for the event, which he currently shares with Miguel Martinez (1997, 2004 and 2013) who, at the age of 46 years, will also be present. Sarrou’s sixth place at the world championships in Les Gets this summer shows that his objective is arguably within reach. With the status of being Friday’s winner on the Ford Roc Marathon and also in impressive form over the last few weeks, Hugo Drechou will be tackling the race full of confidence. “Some riders have managed to do the double or achieve two podiums, but this year the marathon was longer than before,” he confided. “It will have an impact on Sunday and will no doubt be harder on the legs”. The Gallic clan will also be able to count on Joshua and Lucas Dubau or also Mathis Azzaro. The rivals for the French will include Switzerland’s Filippo Colombo, the title holder and 4th on Friday on the Ford Roc Marathon, as well as Italian Luca Braidot, who was 3rd at the last world championships. Having arrived directly from the Tour of Lombardy, watchful eyes should also be cast on Romain Bardet. Last year, following an identical nocturnal journey between Italy and Fréjus, the road racer finished in 11th place.


France vs. Italy in the women’s race with Pauline Ferrand-Prévot perhaps taking starter’s orders

In the women’s race, Margot Moschetti, who was victorious in 2014 and 2019, will be participating two days after her 8th place finish on the Marathon. Italy’s Costanza Fasolis and Martina Berta (15th at the world championships) as well as Belgian Sara Michielsens can also lay legitimate claims to victory. The presence on the Roc d’Azur of Sabrina Enaux, who triumphed in 2018, should also be noted. Following her victory in the first gravel world championships this Saturday in Italy, the four times world champion in cross-country mountain biking Pauline Ferrand-Prévot also announced that she intends to travel to Fréjus during the night to be present at the start on Sunday morning.










Sunday 9th October: 9.00 – 17.00


8.05: Roc Cadettes & Juniors Dames (17.6 km)

8.30: Roc d’Azur (54.5 km)

10.00: Kid Roc Draisienne (150 m)

11.00: Kid Roc Five (150 m)




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