I-MTB

Mega Avalanche – Alpe D’Huez, Practice days.

After the success of the first races of the Enduro World Series the race calendar has a small break and the riders often compete in other different types of events, the Megavalanche is one such event that has been running for 19 years in Alpe D’Huez in France. The event is important to meet a few pro riders and also see what other types of riding take place under the Enduro title.

The Mega is a true gravity endurance, raced over 35km of single track with a mass start and a race time of around 1 hour. Passing is allowed and riders start according to their qualification run and positions are set on the “grid.” To be in the top 10 requires luck, skill and consistency in hostile conditions. This year Remi Absalon will be defending his last years win. Max Schuman the german number one Enduro rider noted how high the level is this year and how it keeps improving. Many stars will be racing over the weekend.

Today was the last day of practice before racing begins on Sunday and the aim was to get to know the tracks and ride the area and see what will be happening on qualification and race day.

We decided against any setup rider shots and just kept it simple by showing the location which is absoultely stunning. Like Superenduro events, un-restrcited practice is allowed and it helps riders know where they are going and how to pace themselves. However as it is a mass start race the riders are all against each other at the same time on the same track, so it is normally very exciting. Therefore learning the location is the best thing to do so a rider can understand how to get the best out of the event.

The race track has a glacier to start with which is a huge surprise element and can make or break a riders race.

It is not always clear how to get down the track on the bike.

Lower down, the track is cut out of the rocky landscape.

The race track traverses the mountain with a shear drop all the way along.

Make a mistake and thats a 500 metre slope to your left.

The lower sections are cut out of the fields and are formed and easier to ride.

With 2300 competitors the lifts can be busy.

Normally it’s easy to find pro riders at races, as this one is so vast it is hard, press conferences are the places to be to find them. Nico Lau reflecting on the task tomorrow and his desire to win.

The qualification track traverses the ridge line along the lake then drops down to Huez.

This seemed to be the main task at the end of the day, keeping your equipment well serviced.

www.megavalanche.com

11 July 2013  ~  Written by

I-MTB is an online MTB magazine and trail areas operator based in Tuscany, Italy

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