Megavalanche 2017: Saturday Racing - Photo Epic

Jul 8, 2017
by Ben Winder  



Today marked the first day of racing at the Megavalanche, four categories were set off, first the e-bike, then Women, Mega Challenger and finally Mega Affinity 1. The first riders caught the lift at 6:00, and set off at 9:00, a cold and early start.

The snow was pretty soft, once riders got their speed up they could float along and then ride okay on it, but for riders who didn’t get moving or were blocked, it turned into a walk/push through the snow. The girls set off second, just after the e-bikes, which meant the snow had already been broken and was pretty slushy. Isabeau Courdurier took the win, with a 53-minute 22-second run. Fastest qualifier, Claire Hassenfratz, crashed badly on the glacier and had to pull out of the race.


Megavalanche 2017 Saturday Racing
One positive from getting up so early the views are incredible.
One positive from getting up so early the views are incredible.

Lift up to 3300m bright and early.
Lift up to 3,300m bright and early.

Megavalanche 2017 Saturday Racing
The snow might look like ice, but it's all an illusion. Footsteps broke through the thin ice seal.

Bikes piled on top of bikes.
Megavalanche 2017 Saturday Racing
Bikes piled on top of bikes.

Nathalie Schneitter.
Nathalie Schneitter.
Isabeau Courdurier.
Isabeau Courdurier.

The girls peer over the edge and try to guess the best line.
The girls peer over the edge, and try to guess the best line.

Riders lined up preparing to drop in.
Riders lined up, preparing to drop in.
Photo Laurence Crossman-Emms
Photo: Laurence Crossman-Emms


And the carnage begins...
And the carnage begins...

Isabeau Courdurier got the hole shot crashed lower down on the snow but managed to regain her position in the number one spot.
Isabeau Courdurier, got the hole shot, crashed lower down on the snow, but managed to regain her position in the number one spot.

Nathalie Schneitter finished in second position.
Nathalie Schneitter, finished in second position.

Megavalanche 2017 Saturday Racing
Photo Laurence Crossman-Emms
Photo: Laurence Crossman-Emms

Claire Hassenfratz on the snow after her crash.
Claire Hassenfratz on the snow after her crash.

Megavalanche 2017 Saturday Racing

Megavalanche 2017 Saturday Racing

A sea of riders flow down the snow.
A sea of riders flow down the snow.

Megavalanche 2017 Saturday Racing

Mega Challenger carnage.
Mega Challenger carnage.

Megavalanche 2017 Saturday Racing
Megavalanche 2017 Saturday Racing

Megavalanche 2017 Saturday Racing

One of the fastest ways down the snow.
One of the fastest ways down the snow.
And an unfortunate way down the snow.
And an unfortunate way down the snow.

The donkey Xavier Murigneux took the win in Mega Challenger from the back of the pack.
The donkey (Xavier Murigneux) took the win in Mega Challenger from the back of the pack.

Megavalanche 2017 Saturday Racing

Megavalanche 2017 Saturday Racing

It s difficult to keep the bike moving through this section of the glacier.
It's difficult to keep the bike moving through this section of the glacier.

The slush.
The slush.

Megavalanche 2017 Saturday Racing
The winner today, Isabeau Courdurier. Isabeau was preparing for exams in-between practice runs.



MENTIONS: @BWinder


Must Read This Week

40 Comments

  • + 20
 Really need an e-bike for this? Ride lift up, roll down.
  • + 7
 There's a reyt shitty pedally section.
  • + 7
 Really need a Fat Bike for this
  • + 4
 Might as well have a whole bunch of [insert whatever the market is trying to make a thing at the moment] categories.
  • - 2
 I'm not going to comment on e-bikes place in the MTB world, but criticizing without knowing is just stupid. No, you don't need an e-bike for this. The e-bikes, once they have finished the normal complete run, have to climb back from Allemont.
  • + 2
 @Uuno: the e-bikes go in the back of the bus trailer like every other bike....
  • + 2
 @Travel66: they are doing 2 races for the mega: the classic mega + 1 uphill from allemont (finish line)...

It still doesn't mean I approve...
  • + 1
 @SuperXav: fair comment, it did seem strange to have them here. Think my GF was offended by 2 staying next door!
  • + 1
 @Travel66: uhm.. can we really use ebike in this race? *serious question btw. is there any class or whatsoever?
just wondering. Smile
  • + 2
 @Danpyo: they have their own class
  • + 7
 why did the ebikes go first....so the assisted power bikes chop up all the snow into slush and then the other poor sods have to follow.
  • + 3
 first thought: they run an e-bike category?
second thought: and they go first?
  • + 0
 Presumably e-bikes go first because they're faster over the whole race.
They do as much "damage" as a regular mtb. Get over it and get with it. They're just another kind of bike and a very, very far cry from a "motor bike" and to say otherwise just shows a large amount of ignorance on the subject.
I personally like some open minded , non-judgmental thinking.
  • + 4
 @Dustfarter: Where you there? I was... and running E bikes first, given the conditions was a mistake.
  • + 3
 I think calling a bike with an electric motor "a far cry from a motorbike" is ignorant. We can have our own opinions, it's ok. @Dustfarter:
  • + 7
 E-bikes, Seriously! This race just took a massive fall for me!
  • + 8
 isabeau is so cute damn
  • + 1
 She is!! And very petit... I saw her riding at the track, she just rushed past me... smooth, playful, and gracious...
  • + 6
 looks so sweet every year! ebikes though? c'mon.
  • + 3
 Because of hard wind thr pro's could not start in the snow today... bummerrrr... I am on the above pics in the start carnage... yeahhhhh.. first time on Pinkbike...
  • + 4
 Can't wait to rummage through all the Youtube POV videos. Always entertaining.
  • + 1
 Haha, that guy in the 21st picture on the upper track to the right.
"Shit Frank, I told you I wanted a map and not "left right, lef left and then right" hints. Screw you!"
  • + 1
 I rode in the amateur race today and although it didn't start from the top it was still an experience I will never forget. The whole thing is Mega.
  • + 1
 I ended up in Affinity 1 on Saturday as I smashed a rim and everything that went wrong in repairing it did go wrong....I guess I was lucky as we got to run the full race length
  • + 1
 Aaaaah damn. Going back in 2019 for both mountain of hell and megavalanche! Hard to describe the atmosphere. So much fun, so many rad people. Can't wait ????
  • + 3
 Most impressive thing was watching the dude with one leg rip the course...
  • + 3
 Add it to the UCI calendar! XC can ride to the top and DH can ride down!
  • + 2
 safe to say, biggest clusterfu*ck in mtb'ing
  • + 1
 Well the whole drawing heart thing didn't work did it, she is clearly more than 3.....
  • + 1
 awww yeah dude so ready for a bike check now this looks like so much fun
  • + 1
 The E Bikes had to climb up the qualy track for their qualifier.
  • + 1
 I like to play Where's Waldo of people who've fallen with these pictures
  • + 1
 thx for the photos!
  • + 1
 Isabeau is 3
  • + 1
 dat sram hat, nice hat.
  • + 1
 Who won the men's race??
  • + 1
 The Pro Race Damien Otton.
  • + 1
 % of clips or flats ?
  • + 1
 Would say a few more flats than clips. I switched from clips to flats just before quali but only because a cleat/shoe was playing up.
  • - 1
 isabeau arent you hit girl from movie kick ass?

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