France Would Be Nice Right About Now

As spring gently approaches, I’m sure a lot of us have our minds on all the great places we’d like to get out cycling this next year.  With the 2011 Paris-Nice race taking place this week, it’s hard not to fantasize about riding over there.  I know I’ve caught myself dreaming about it a few times thanks to the wicked pictures my friend Cristi Ruhlman has been sending me.

Cristi has been over there having a great time doing some riding and getting some coverage for Cycle Côte d’Azur, a small and friendly cycle tour company that offers daily rides, weekend trips and training camps in the Côte d’Azur.  I’m going to let the photos do the talking here and see if you start drooling as well.

The photos below are all courtesy of Cristi Ruhlman and include shots from her Cycle Côte d’Azur tour as well as the Aedas Cycle to Cannes (a six day, 1500km ride from London to Cannes).  This weekend they’ll be catching the final stage of the 2011 Paris-Nice (an eight-day, 1,307km race which began in Houdan, a small village west of Paris, on Sunday, March 6 and ends in Nice on Sunday, March 13).  Those pictures to come soon.

Shots of Nice harbor:  In the final stage of Paris-Nice, riders will come down the hill from right to left into town for the finish

Great bike path all the way from Antibes/Cannes to Nice along the Mediterranean

Almost to the top: Col de Madone is a fantastic ride, quite steep in places with the beautiful hanging village of Saint-Agnes perched above as you ride up

Two-time Olympian and Commonwealth cycling medalist Emma Davies of Cycle Côte d’Azur is Loving the Bike at the top of the Madone

Cristi Ruhlman: High over Nice with spectacular hills of Provence and the Col de Vence in background, and Promenade des Anglais along the coast

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