PRATICE AND QUALIFICATION DAY
The last light before qualification day.
Riders wait for the cableway to take them 3,330 meters to the race starting point.
Prepped for the top, ready to ride.
The line is long to Pic Blanc.
The gondola ride the the qualification point ends here, high in the French Alps.
It’s a breathtaking ride.
Riders disembark from the gondola and head to the starting point.
Getting in a practice wheelie.
Riders of all ages participate in this deeply unique event.
The terrain is challenging, fun and unforgiving all at once.
Tea time at the summit.
Before the event there are smiles and photos to be taken.
First line riders at the starting point of the race. Front and center in yellow and blue is Liam Moynihan, representing Bluegrass. Next to him in the orange helmet is eventual Megavalanche Alpe d’Huez winner Rémy Absalon.
It’s a rainbow of competitors.
They riders are off and racing.
The Megavalanche event has some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world, though we’re quite certain the riders are quite focus don what’s directly ahead of them.
The competition is fierce and parts of the course are quite packed.
Riders bomb down the glacier on qualifying day.
Liam Moynihan chasing Rémy Absalon Glacier, rock and dirt.
Thomas Lapeyrie in the lead for the qualifying run.
Keké Bron runs alongside another rider as they prepare to round a curve.
Glacial lakes are as blue as the sky.
Rounding a tight turn with a mountain range as a backdrop.
Portions of the course are quite narrow and rocky.
A lone rider drops into a descending course turn. FLAT TIRES AND CRASHES
The Megavalanche course takes its toll on bikes and riders alike.
Tire repair kits are a necessity.
Injuries are an unfortunate reality of such a challenging event. THE EXPO VILLAGE
The Bluegrass Arch is the qualifier finish line, and also a beacon in the Expo Village.
The Expo Village is where fans and riders alike can relax and take in the sites.
Visitors get an up close and personal look at the 2017 range of Bluegrass gear. TOP RIDERS PRESENTATION
The first line riders for the qualifying run.
Bluegrass rider Liam Moynihan hangs out with his sister (left) and girlfriend.THE NIGHT BEFORE THE RACE
The Megavalanche organization crew have dinner the night before the race.
A starry, moonlit night on the Alp D’huez.RACE DAY
Riders take their place in the gondolas on their way to the top for race day.
Prepped and ready. Insert coin. THE GOLDEN HOUR
The sun is rising, the mountain calls to the competitors.
Did we mention it gets quite cold?
Pic Blanc, the top of the mountain.
Race day is here, the ride will come, but quiet time to enjoy the scenery is in order.
It’s almost time.
The rider’s bikes are places at the starting point. WARMING UP
Marking the course.
This way to the longest downhill race in the world.
First line qualifier bikes.
Yes, stretching is probably a good idea.
READY TO RUMBLE
Racers at the line, it’s almost time!
The course is pristine, but that won’t be the case for long.
Alarm, la bomba!
And they’re off!
At this moment the riders are all equal…
Colors, bikes, slushy snow and rocky mountain madness.
Seriously, that’s a lot of folks.
Like, a whole lot.
Can you believe this is just the beginning?
As the race goes on, the mass of riders spreads out significantly.
No more pristine snow. This is what it looks like when hundreds of riders attack a course. AFTER THE FINISH LINE
Some members of Team Sunn, also sponsored by Bluegrass, enjoy some hangout time after the race.
Megavalanche isn’t just for youngsters. These surly vets are tough as nails and can hold their own on the mountainous downhill course.
It’s a rough and tumble, dirty race. Gotta clean those bikes once they’ve done their duty.
Rémy Absalon has a lot to smile about after the race.
Finally, the Megavalanche Alpe d’Huez top 5 in order - Rémy Absalon, Damien Oton, François Bailly Maitre, Gusti Wildhaber and Cédric Ravanel.