About Us

We specialize in bespoke French Riviera cycling trips and work closely with our clients to put together highly individualized tour packages. We know this region inside out and all our guides and staff live, ride and train on the roads of the Côte d’Azur. Whether it’s a secret hidden back road with stunning views or a delicious local pastry served during one of our gourmet rest stops, we take great care to add special touches to each trip creating a truly unique and authentic custom cycling experience.

We have always highlighted the bespoke travel experience because we believe that you can get the most out of your cycling holiday when you are with the people you choose, have the services you prefer, and on itineraries individualized for your needs. Our ride guides and training camp directors are experienced cyclists and triathletes, and certified coaches who are eager to show you the best of the Maritime Alps à vélo, and help you accomplish all your travel and fitness goals – whether you are preparing for competition, trying to improve overall fitness, or just looking to relax and enjoy the spectacular Côte d’Azur scenery.

Ride with Us!

A Cyclist Holding Handles of a Cycle

Diana Panchyk

Cycling Coach, CEO & Founder

A native New Yorker, Diana began racings a teenager, and quickly moved up the ranks to the Junior Olympics of Cycling and international racing. A lifelong athlete, she spent 14 years racing road and mountain bikes, making her way to the elite/pro women’s team Advil-Chapstick in 2005, and rode for the US Women's Cycling Development Program. She is a certified cycling coach and continues to compete occasionally. A Francophile and frequent traveler, she has always been inspired and impressed by the culture of cycling in France and the breathtaking setting of the French Riviera. Azur Vélo is a product of this inspiration, offering cyclists a chance to experience professional treatment, support and guidance, while enjoying the treasure of the Côte d’Azur’s extraordinary roads.

Julian Ripoll

Cycling Guide, General Assistance

Born and raised in the French Riviera, Julian is a true niçois and a lifelong outdoor afficionado. He is also bilingual, and easy to chat with about all things sports and travel. An avid cyclist with a particular love of gravel paths off the beaten track, Julian has been riding for 15 years and is a certified cycling guide. He is also an accomplished downhill skier and spends the winter months as a ski instructor at the prestigious Courchevel resort. With a background in photography, Julian loves capturing inspiring moments in the great outdoors on camera and video. He brings his perfect familiarity of the region and love of the great outdoors to Azur Vélo, and is happy to assist visitors on tour while sharing his knowledge and insight about this wonderful region.

A Person Yellow and Black Cycle Track

Michael Cotty

The Col Collective Mountain Goat and Endurance Specialist

We are pleased to welcome Michael Cotty to our team of world-class guides for 2023. As founder of The Col Collective, he has made a career out of riding, filming and telling the story of epic rides and mountains across the continent. Mike is an accomplished athlete known for endurance challenges such as The Road to Mont Blanc – a 1000 km nonstop challenge across the Dolomites, Italian Alps and Swiss Alps. He was also the 2016 Haute Route Road Captain, stage winner in the Dolomites, and one of the few to successfully complete the Alps, Pyrenees and Dolomites events the same year, finishing top 15 in all 3 events and 3rd place in the triple crown challenge. Mike's engaging character, curious mind, and friendly nature bring a unique perspective to the roads and mountains on every ride.

Etape du Tour

Cedrick Dubois

2019 Étape du Tour Champion, 2X Haute Route Champion

Cedrick is one of the most accomplished sportive racers in the world, recognized for his impressive victory in the 2019 Étape du Tour – quite an achievement considering the 15,000 rider field! He has been living in the Côte d’Azur for over 10 years and is well-known to all the local cyclists here - including the local pros who often see Cedrick ahead of them in Strava mountain classifications! He was a semi-pro mountain bike racer from 1998 to 2004, and since then he has been competing in sportive events, gravel races and running races. With his impressive palmarès including a victory and two top 5 places in the Étape du Tour, the title of 2016 Masters Champion of France, and 2 Haute Route victories, there’s no one better than Cedrick to help you prepare for your sportive and climbing goals!

A Cyclist Riding a Cycle on Road of a Locality

Alexandre Blain

Pro Triathlete, Elite Coach & Ride Guide

Alexandre has an extensive background in professional cycling and triathlon, with experience both on UCI Pro and Continental cycling teams. Alexandre chose to focus on triathlon and became one of the top athletes in this challenging discipline, with an impressive palmares including a 12th overall finish at Ironman Nice 2019. This accomplished professional athlete has numerous qualifications as a guide and coach, speaks fluent English, and is eager to show guests the best of our beautiful region while adapting to their individual cycling and training needs. He is also one of our main ride leaders for Ironman Nice and Ironman 70.3 course recons, and his high level of fitness suits even the most competitive athletes.

A Line of Cyclists on the Side of Dried Grass

Special Guest Pro Cyclists

Meet a Pro, Ride with a Pro

Would you like to ride with a pro cyclist or chat over a cup of coffee at one of the bike cafés in our region? The French Riviera is one of the most popular places in the world for pro cyclists to live and train, and we are lucky to be connected with many of these incredible world-class athletes and champions from UCI World Tour teams. If you would like an extraordinary insider’s pro cycling experience, we can arrange to have one of these accomplished athletes join you – either for a ride or for a convivial meeting. We can accommodate most requests for pro guests, but due to their unpredictable racing and training schedule, it may be difficult to book a specific athlete. Contact us for more details and reservation options.

"I flew into Nice, solo with my trusty bike, for a 6 day cycling adventure with Azur Vélo. I could really relax and enjoy my vacation because Azur Vélo had everything arranged for me from the moment I walked through the arrival gates at Nice airport. I was welcomed as a friend everywhere I went, whether it was stopping in a remote mountain village for a sandwich and to fill my bidons, or by the family-style accommodation hand selected for me by Diana. I was even welcomed as a guest of honour by a town mayor and was welcomed to join a friendly game of pétanque! Diana is very passionate and creates the correct sort of vacation tailored for the requests of her clients. 5 stars and highly recommended."
A Cyclist in Pink Color Shirt and Black Shorts
Craig Brodie, Custom Cycling Trip

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French Riviera Cycling Logo on a Transparent Background