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Race to the Rain

G4 invited the editor, Robert Thorpe, to ride the Paris Nice Challenge, and to enjoy the race to the sun, whilst testing the G4 new summer G4 range of clothing. Unfortunately the weather had other plans, so the Race to the Sun was amended, and we tested out the technical weather gear in ideal conditions … rain!

There is something very special about the Cote D’Azure. You cannot know it until you visit her and ride along the Mediterranean coast, and climb into the hills, swooping down twisting roads that speed you back to Nice.

Even when it rains, the scenery is beautiful and washed with colour; the blue sea, the green hills, the palm trees along the coast, and the myriad of flowers, soaking up the rain and opening up their full spectrum of colours. Standing with friends before the 2018 Paris Nice final stage, we sheltered with pro riders who chatted quietly and prepared themselves to challenge this cycling Mecca of sublimity.

The riding is not easy, it has to be earned, respected and tuned into. The villages that stand sentinel over the Mediterranean coastline sit on hard won cols, providing views that open your eyes to the Cote D’Azure. And so, when riding here, you need to be your best, to ride your best, and to feel your best. Taking on the Paris Nice challenge this year was for me a new experience. My home rides are amidst the hills and valleys of North Yorkshire, where hard work also repays you with magnificent scenes; but Nice and this amazing place capture and captivated me, on the climbs and on the descents. And, wearing the G4 range added to the experience, allowing me the comfort and performance to concentrate on one thing – the cycling.

The bib tights fitted like a second skin, and not just in one area, but from ankle upwards, every panel compressing at just the right level, and a G4 Pro pad that simply performed all day long. One of the most critical parts of any ride is keeping the hands and feet warm and dry, so that you can function with the bike. Wearing the G4 all season gloves, which regulated my heat and kept out the wind, my fingers worked the gears on all the climbs and descents.

The G4 rain-wear overshoes matched the technical fabric of the jacket and fitted perfectly, with amazing four way stretch properties, and simply shed the water and created a barrier against the cold too. The Supreme jacket likewise, had a cut and material that seemed made just for me, from the extra stretch neoprene cuffs that wrapped my wrists, to the pockets at just the right level, and the arms, with no flap and sag to be felt as the wind and I raced the descents for kilometre upon kilometre, it all simply moulded to my form, whilst the ultralight rain jacket beaded and bounced the rain away from away me.

Yes, G4 is a Cote D’Azure cycling brand, but not just because it was born here and is designed in Nice; it understands the cyclist, their need to feel free, to move unobstructed, and to be at one with the ride. And the performance is matched in equal measure the style, the style of France and the chic elegance of the Cote D’Azure.

I’ll head home to the Yorkshire Dales soon, but I’ll be back to ride these hills, this coast, and to wear G4; back to embed myself into the cycling culture of the Mediterranean.