Club Med
Mountain Biking UK|March 2017

There’s a cluster of riding spots on the French/Italian coast that offer trails that are up there with anything in the Alps.

Tom Marvin

The Alps are still the biggest draw for UK mountain bikers looking for foreign climes in which to test their mettle each summer, but there’s another area, split down the middle by the French/Italian border, that needs your attention. Between Nice and Genoa the mountains drop straight into the sea, their sides littered with hot, dry, rocky and dusty trails that are the home turf of several downhill and enduro legends. Take Peille, for example – a small village tucked away in the hills behind Nice that’s home to three world champions, all of who grew up on the same street! If that’s not enough, almost every area of the Maritime Alps is keen to attract more mountain bikers to its towns, so accommodation, transport and trails are all being primed for a well-deserved influx of riders. There are four spots in particular that we reckon are worth checking out.

FINALE LIGURE

If you’ve only heard of one riding destination in the area, it’s probably Finale Ligure. The small Italian town has played host to the final round of the Enduro World Series (EWS) since its inception in 2013, and prior to that was the location for many domestic SuperEnduro races. If you’re looking for a riding spot that typifies enduro riding and racing, then Finale is it.

Most riders will use one of the numerous uplift services, but that’s not to say there’s no pedalling involved. Finale’s trails are known for their fast and flowing nature, and are interspersed with technical sections, rather than just being full-on steeps (though you can find those too). With literally hundreds of miles of trails to explore, there’s a decent week’s riding from just this one town.

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