How we did it
The nearest airport is Nice. From there it’s just over an hour’s drive to Roquebillière. If you’re staying in Nice, an alternative is to take the 40-minute train ride to L’escarène and pick up the route from there.
We stayed at the Hotel Saint Sébastien on the outskirts of Roquebillière. Housed in a beautiful, ivy-clad building, it’s a simple but charming, family-run affair. There’s a great outdoor pool and dining terrace. The steaks we had for dinner (Gav had lettuce and chips) were sensational. Bed and breakfast in a double room costs around €90 (£83) in high season. More details at hotelsaintsebastien06.com.
We hired our bike from Café du Cycliste in Nice. It offers a choice of premium carbon Officine Mattio or hand-built steel Cycles Victoire bikes, costing from €60-€95 (£55£87) a day. It also has an extensive database of information and maps about routes and climbs throughout the region, and it organises regular group rides from the cafe. Find out more at cafeducycliste.com.
A big thank you to Marmot Tours for all its help. My co-rider, Gav Savage, and our support van driver, Tim Myers, are two of the company’s most experienced guides, so their input was invaluable. Marmot offers fully supported cycling tours in all of Europe’s great mountain ranges. Go to marmot-tours.co.uk.
Thanks also to Florence Lecointre of the local tourism office for helping us out with accommodation. There’s loads of useful information and ideas for riders at cotedazurfrance.fr. Finally, thanks to Ali Mckee at Café du Cycliste for supplying our bike, kit and handy details about our route.