Nice Côte d’Azur by UTMB: Routes, contenders and how to follow

Runners will take on Nice Côte d’Azur by UTMB for the second time from 22 to 25 September 2023, with the event forming part of the UTMB World Series.

It comes just a few days on from Julian Alps Trail Run by UTMB and is set to attract over 4,000 athletes.

The French Riviera, Mercantour Massif and Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolis provide a stunning base for the competition, which is aiming to become the biggest trail running event in the Mediterranean basin.

Running Stones are on offer in all three races, with four, three, two and one available in the 165km Ultra Trail Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur, 111km Roubion-Nice, 59km Menton-Nice and 17km Villefranche-Nice respectively.

Ultra Trail Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur will also provide direct access to Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) 2024 for the top three finishers.

The top three in the Roubion-Nice race will earn direct access to the UTMB CCC, while podium finishers in the Menton-Nice will earn a place at UTMB OCC.

Nice Côte d’Azur by UTMB routes

Ultra Trail Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur features 8,700m of climbing over 165km, reaching more than 2,650m above sea level.

The race begins in Auron and winds through chestnut forests, following the Tinée river before skirting the Mercantour massif.

After crossing a series of incredible ridges at the halfway point, runners head south, scaling Mont Leuze, Mont Vinaigrier, Mont Alban and then Mont Boron.

The route then winds down a steep staircase and onto the coast, with a final stretch before the finish on the Promenade des Anglais.

Roubion-Nice consists of 5,000m of ascent across 111km, starting in the small village of Roubion, which is built on a cliff in the south of the Mercantour National Park.

The early stages take runners along the Vignols track before joining with the 165km course between the Tinée and Vésubie valleys.

The 59km Menton-Nice race begins with a ‘vertical kilometre’ to the Col du Berceau, the first of 3,000m of climbing.

The course then winds through the medieval village of Sainte-Agnès and to the Cime de Baudon at 1,266m, which offers a panoramic view of Corsica and the Mercantour peaks.

Nice Côte d'Azur by UTMB
Nice Côte d’Azur by UTMB is aiming to become the biggest trail running event in the Mediterranean basin. © Nice Côte d’Azur by UTMB

After a few kilometres along the peaks, via Fort de la Revère and Mont Bataille, there is a dive towards the finish on the Promenade des Anglais.

The 17km Villefranche-Nice starts at Villefranche-sur-Mer, and involves 700m of ascent.

The first part of the race takes runners past Saint Michel’s church, Aire St Michel and the Col 4 Chemins.

The route then heads to the coast and climbs up to the Nice old town before offering a view of the Baie des Anges ahead of the finish at Promenade des Anglais.

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Nice Côte d’Azur by UTMB start times

The four races at Nice Côte d’Azur by UTMB will begin at the following times (all local):

Ultra Trail Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur – 13:00, Friday 22 September

Roubion-Nice – 06:00, Saturday 23 September

Menton-Nice – 08:00, Saturday 23 September

Villefranche-Nice – 08:00, Sunday 24 September

Nice Côte d’Azur past winners

France’s Hugo Deck and Netherlands’ Ragna Debats were the inaugural men’s and women’s 100-mile champions in 2022.

100-mile winners

2022 – men: Hugo Deck: 23:59:18. Women: Ragna Debats: 27:45:02.

Nice Côte d’Azur by UTMB 2023 contenders

This section will be updated when elite entrants for the 2023 race are announced.

How to follow Nice Côte d’Azur by UTMB

UTMB will provide live coverage of the races on Friday and Saturday here, while live tracking will also be available.

The broadcast will be live on Friday 22 September from 12.30 to 16:30, as well as between 07:00 and 13:30, and then 17:00 to 19:00, on Saturday 23 September.

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