At SRAM we love bikes, and bike components in equal measure. We love making them, as well as using them. So it is always exciting for us when we get to show the world for the first time something new, especially if, such as in this case, it something that we have been working on for well over two years. To celebrate the launch of the new SRAM Rise MTB wheels we flew a selected bunch of media people and SRAMmies to southern France, and after a few rounds of Pastis (the local aperitif) we set off to pedal on the hills along the ocean to reach Frejus, home of Roc d'Azur, one of the world's biggest MTB events. Here is what happened, as captured by the lens of Adrian Marcoux.
After a long drive or a long flight, it's always good to catch up on the latest news and gossip, while preparing for an epic two days on the bike.
As dusk approached, we gathered our guests to show them what RISE is all about...looks peaceful, but in that patio 2 hard years of work were culminating in front of the world!
The morning before the ride, everyone was busy setting up bikes before our adventure...and admiring the sleek look of SRAM Rise 60 carbon wheels.
Food, water, gels and bars aplenty!
Leaving the hotel, feels a bit like SoCal? No, it was SoFra: Southern France!
Our ride guide Vincent had to work hard to figure out a trail route to keep us out of wild board hunting zones...and these friendly signs courteously reminded to keep out of certain areas!
The lush, unique vegetation was a welcome break from the sun. With 32 degrees during the day, and sunshine all over, many were glad to have escaped the first cold weather back at home.
After a meal fit for a king, ride guide Philippe and Scott's Lionel figure out the route that would take us straight to dinner!
A two day ride is not only taxing for those on the bike: the tech crew worked well into the night, under floodlights, to make sure all the bikes were fresh and ready for the following day.
Morning of the second day, happy and ready!
It was not all fun and games. Getting from A to B on a bike requires a lot of work. Let's say we all appreciated how light and smoothly our Rise 60 wheels rolled...
Lunch stop on the beach: not far from our final destination. Can we stay a few minutes more? It's almost snowing back home!
And this is it! 140km and two days deserve a dip in the Mediterranean Sea to celebrate!
The new SRAM European race truck was our home during Roc d'Azur: when you are at an event with 60.000 other people, it is prime to have a nice, secure space to work on bikes, prepare for races or simply bask in the glorious sun on the upper deck. Priceless.
Sunday is race day: the Roc d'Azur is a classic, point to point XC race, a 56km course with 1600m of climbing. All the top XC pros are at the start, and behind them thousands of riders. Here is the race debut of SRAM Rise 60 wheels.
And it was a successful one! All SRAMmies and editors completed the race in under four hours, good job!
Race head on?