We thought long and hard before naming this feature.
A European granfondo is a very different event to a UK sportive, as anyone who has tackled the most demanding Continental events will attest.
The fastest men at fixtures like L’Etape du Tour, La Marmotte, and the Maratona dles Dolomites are pro cyclists in all but name, and several have raced at the sport’s highest levels.
Nicolas Roux, the first man home in the last two editions of L’Etape, and who recently missed the Tour du Mont Blanc record by the narrowest of margins after riding non-stop through the most appalling conditions to cover 330km with 8,000m of ascent in less than 12 hours, is just such an athlete.
A Mavic ambassador and one of Canyon’s ‘Heroes of the Road’, Roux’s Aeroad CF is unique, decorated with decals carefully matched by the German bike brand to the French wheelsmith’s signature shade of yellow.
We were lucky enough to ride with Roux in his home region of Savoie Mont Blanc the day before the arrival of the Critérium du Dauphiné, and snapped this gallery of his elegant steed.
We’ll bring you a full interview with Roux and his top tips for L’Etape, as well as the lowdown on riding in the Savoie Mont Blanc – a region littered with iconic climbs – in subsequent articles.
For now, we’ll take a close look at Roux’s Canyon Aeroad CF, the smartest machine we’ve seen for some time.
RoadCyclingUK rode with Nicolas Roux on a trip organised by Savoie Mont Blanc Tourism – a partner of the Critérium du Dauphiné