Rudy von Berg and Imogen Simmonds biggest favorites at Challenge Cagnes-sur-Mer

(Photo: Instagram Imogen Simmonds, Flywood73)

Challenge Family racing returns to France’s Côte d’Azur on the weekend of June 10-11, 2023, for the inaugural Challenge Cagnes-sur-Mer. Athletes will take on a challenging course set in the foothills above Nice and along the Mediterranean shoreline. Biggest favorites seems to be Rudy von Berg (USA) and Imogen Simmonds (SUI).

Challenge Cagnes-sur-Mer lands on the French Riviera with both standard and middle-distance events. The start gun will go off at 07:00 CET on Sunday, June 11, with the pro men, followed by the pro women and then age group athletes in a mass start off Hippodrome Beach.

Athletes will then head out on a 96km bike route into the foothills above the Mediterranean and the varied back country of Vence, St Paul de Vence and the Col de Vence of Paris-Nice fame, rising from sea level to just under 1,000m.

In contrast, the 21.1km run is flat as it follows the coastline, lined with spectators throughout, helping to create a festive atmosphere.

Heading the men’s field is multiple long and middle distance champion, Rudy von Berg (USA). Athletes intent on stopping his race to the top include Frenchmen, William Mennesson and Kevin Maurel, as well as Australian Nicholas Free.

The women’s race promises to be a closely fought battle with Giorgia Priarone (ITA) and Imogen Simmonds (SUI) with a PTO ranking of 45th and 49th respectively. Also in the mix is Justine Guerard (FRA).