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Ben, Darren, Hendrix, Shally, Slack, Will and Woots came over to Cham for a few days riding before we all headed off down to Alpe d'Huez for the Megavalanche. This year we opted for the €65 option which included the two days of racing and a full weeks lift pass. Not a bad deal considering that is what you would pay for a full weekends racing at a Dragon and this included free buffets at the end of each days racing as well as the lift pass.

We drove down on Tuesday morning and rode Tuesday afternoon through Friday on the courses. There are two courses to practice, Saturdays qualifying race and Sundays Megavalanche course. Both courses are pretty full on with the Megav course having the added interest of a reasonably long section of snow at the beginning. Riding the snow is challenging. The faster you go the more the bike rises up onto the surface of the snow and becomes easier to control, but when you lose control it is quite spectacular. Riding both feet up is definitely the way to go, but a lot of people opt for running one foot or both as outriggers. Both courses are long, with the qualifying course taking about 40 minutes and the main race about an hour and 10. When you ride them in non race conditions they take considerably longer, stopping to check out lines, fix mechanicals, have lunch and the like being the sort of things that slow you down. In general we managed to do perhaps a whole megav course and half a qualification course per day or half a megav and a whole qualification.

There is a full set of pics on my site here some choice ones are...

The start lines for the race are just here, one thousand competitors lined up in rows of 25.

Hendrix on the left looks like he is about to loose it. Ben rinsing it, feet up.

Will having it. Can you imagine how much fun this would be with rim brakes.



Darren and Will


The car park at the finish waiting for the bus back up to Oz

There seemed to be a larger British contingent this year than I have seen before. And all the faces that have been there in previous years still seem to be coming back for more punishment. There is no competition that really causes as much damage to you or your bike and I am sure most people took home a good collection of bumps, scraps, bruises and breaks, scratches, bangs and the like.

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