Michel and Florent Icard are two friends of Café du Cycliste. They also happen to be father and son. We met Florent when he came to our office in Nice to buy a Josette waterproof jersey.
He happened to be a serious racer, with ambitions of turning pro, and he joined us part-time, shipping customer orders all over the world. He also introduced us to his father, Michel, who is an ultra-long distance cyclist. Michel just finished third in the 1000 du Sud, a 1,000km 'Brevet' ride through the hills and mountains of Haute Provence and the Alpes-Maritimes. (Read more about that here).
They've been riding together in our photoshoots for two seasons now. So we're pleased to present a little about the cyclists behind the photos.
Florent, you've just decided to stop racing at elite level. What would you like to do with the bike next?
F.I. -- Yes, I've stopped, but without regret. It’s been an unforgettable and enriching experience – cycle racing is a real school for life, it's given me a lot for the future! I'm going to continue with the sport, and try another discipline, triathlon. On the work side of things, I now work in a sports shop in the cycle department, where I can share my experiences of cycling with the clients. After that, why not work with a cycling brand or something like that!
… and Michel, you've finished the 1000 du Sud: do you have any new goals?
M.I. -- I've been into long-distance rides since 2010, and take real pleasure each year crossing France on a bike. 2015 will be equally full of kilometres! My main goal is PBP, Paris-Brest-Paris, a 1,200km challenge that takes place every four years in August, and which brings together 5,000 international competitors.
Did you really wear your Café du Cycliste jersey and bib shorts for 59 hours and 1,000 km? How were they?!
M.I. -- Yes, I wore my Cafe du Cycliste clothing from start to finish, as I usually do for long distances. I particularly like the quality, comfort and support of the fabrics used, the practicality and the discreet vintage style.
Do you have any favourite rides in the region – any cols or Strava segments?
F.I. -- The Côte d'Azur is a playground for cyclists! In winter we like the corniche roads overlooking the Mediterranean between Nice and Monaco in particular, the red rocks of the Esterel from Cannes to Saint Raphaël, and the Tanneron at Mandelieu in February, when it's covered in mimosas.
M.I. -- In summer season cyclists desert the crowded seafront for the medium and high mountains. Our favourite places? We escape towards the summits where the climbs are. We're pretty knowledgeable about the cols in the *departement* – Vence, Ecre, Bleine, Pimpinier, Bruis, Braus [https://www.cafeducycliste.com/en/rides/] – and also the high-altitude cols like Bonette, Allos, Cayolle, Champs, Lombarde or Turini.
Out of the Café du Cycliste Winter 2014 collection, which pieces did you like wearing best?
M.I. -- I particularly like the Martine winter tights, for their comfort and warmth. I also use Josette a lot, in all conditions – particularly when competing in the rain, but even out training in uncertain weather. Then the Colette rain jacket, for rainy training rides, and always rolled in my back pocket in case of sudden storms. It's great, water doesn't get through!