Peloton X Specialized Chapter 3: Big Views in the Ardèche Words by Brad Roe, Images by Chris Auld

As we continued our Ardèche adventure aboard three different builds of the Specialized Roubaix, we were blown away at the dramatic geology and big views of this little-known riding area between the Auvergne and Rhône-Alpes regions of southeastern France. Cyclists flock to the Alps, to the more well-known climbs and riding terrain of this vast country, but our adventures focused on the always-dramatic roads of the Ardèche.

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On this day, we focused on wide views, short climbs and dramatic landscapes created by ancient rivers and a unique natural architecture.

Beginning in Valence, we made our way westward into the area, winding through small villages, the goal being to make our way eventually to the north and the Château de Crussol, a 12th century limestone castle built atop a 200-meter-high cliff. The promontory where the castle was built has been occupied since Roman times.

Like all adventures, they don’t always go as planned. We ended up deep in the ancient canyons of the Ardèche riding on a variety of roads and utilizing the unique characteristics of the 2020 Specialized Roubaix––we discovered that the Future Shock gives you more handling confidence and its on-the-fly adjustability was easy and intuitive to manage on the region’s challenging terrain.

We also finally had the chance to experience steep short climbs and put the bike through its paces on longer descents and flat-out sections bordered by rivers and rocky architecture.

We didn’t make it all the way to the Château de Crussol. We were too busy deep inside the canyons, flowing and flying on these exceptionally quiet roads.

For more information on the 2020 Roubaix, head to specialized.com