Is this the ultimate downhill mountain bike race?
The Megavalanche is a Downhill Marathon race staged at Alpe d’Huez in the Oisans region of France. Competitors race from 3,330m on the Pic Blanc glacier to Allemont on the valley floor at 720m. Covering some 30 kms and dropping over 2,600m, every type of terrain is encountered, from snow and ice, to rocks and mud. They will need physical strength for the top section, cardio for the road climbs and endurance to string it all together and keep going.
It is a mountain bike downhill marathon that mixes gravity-assisted excitement with enduro levels of fitness, guaranteed to test both nerve and physique.
This year, 2011, the organisers were concerned about the amount of ice still on the course – unusual for the 10th July, mid-Summer.
This is the 17th time the race has been run and is open to pros and amateurs. It is unusual in that the riders go off en masse. Two riders from France took first and second place, but if you look at the amateur results it looks like there’s going to be some pretty stiff competition in the future. Niall Davis from Ireland came first, Simon Gadja from Germany second and Ruari Watt, Scotland, third. In all, 20 Nations were represented at this event with 1,400 participants!
It’s worth noting that if you don’t start near the front you cannot win the race.
Different year and a lot dryer and greener – another great video: