The Gravel Bike Trophy embodies every aspect of gravel biking, a mixed terrain adventure of discovery and culture between the mountains and sea in the Alpes-Maritimes. It’s an adventure spread over 2 days, with routes and distances to suit most levels of fitness, but be prepared to spend a night under canvas! The organisation team have incorporated the most scenic and engaging routes the area has to offer, passing over alpine cols with far reaching vistas and through the area’s famous villages perchées. The images speak for themselves.

Starting high up  in the heart of the Massif du Mercantour in the village and ski station of Valberg, on the first day’s route you’ll ride down towards the sea via encapsulating and little used tracks with spectacular views passing from the Mercantour to the Prealpes d’Azur. Even though you’ll be losing height don’t underestimate the climbing along the way! You’ll have to earn those views! 

This is fully inclusive event, created for riders of all abilities. Challenge yourself over the longest distance or relax and take in the atmosphere over the shorter distances. Bring the whole family along too as there will be family oriented events in Valberg as well as in the arrival village of Vence, perched high up in the hills. Here there will be a secure bike park, mechanic area and bike cleaning facilities as well as plenty of food options with most dietary requirements catered for. 

Calorific needs are not forgotten en route with numerous food stations, as well as catering for the caffeine aficionados amongst you with participating cafés along the way offering a place to take a break. 

Once in Vence, you won’t need for anything else. It’s time to simply relax and recharge for the following day. Just don’t forget your camping mat and sleeping bag, which will be transported for you so you can ride unencumbered. On the Sunday, you’ll ride back to Valberg via a different route, just as scenic, but with some good climbing as you’ll now be headed back up into the higher peaks. 

What you won’t find at this event is a route heavily sign posted with arrows. Only at the more tricky sections where you’ll be most likely to miss a turn will be signed or have a volunteer directing you. Each rider will receive a roadbook and the route as a gps file. Don’t fret though if you haven’t yet decided to purchase a gps unit or are in need of a new one as all entrants will receive a VIP code for a discount against a new Garmin device. 

The Gravel Trophy will be a challenge, but a rewarding one, where you’ll get to ride the best routes the area has to offer with stunning views and engaging landscapes. You’ll discover rarely ridden, beautiful tracks deep in the heart of these mountain ranges. Ride with friends or ride solo where you’ll meet new friends, all at your own pace. With festivities in both Valberg and Vence as well plenty of historic villages to visit, it is an ideal weekend for the whole family or non riding partners. For all the information and registration for 2020, details can be found here in both French and English. If gravel biking, adventure and discovery are your passion, this is the event for you and I’ll let the following images do the rest of the talking: 

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