Megavalanche 2016 - Qualifying

Jul 9, 2016
by Ben Winder  



Yesterday was qualifying day in Alpe d’Huez and for qualifying, riders ride a different track to race runs. The qualifying track is a shorter and lacks the big glacier start, it has patches of snow still, and is a long way from being easy.

There were ten qualifying runs for the men, made up of over 100 riders each. And there was also one for the women. The purpose of the qualifying runs are to work out which event every rider will ride in, Megavalanche, Mega Challenger, Mega Amateurs or the Mega Affinity 1 and 2. It also seeds riders into the starting grid, the higher you qualify the closer you start to the front.

Charles Jones questioning what he d got himself in for this morning but finished in 4th in his heat. Solid.
Charles Jones, questioning what he'd got himself in for, but he finished 4th in his heat. Solid.

Liam Moynihan checking out the view and seeing what the track conditions are looking like.
Liam Moynihan checking out the view, and seeing what the track conditions are looking like.

An initial climb to the lift that got the blood flowing.
An initial climb to the lift, that got the blood flowing.

Queues of riders excited to get to the top.
Queues of riders excited to get to the top.

Remy Absalon has won here 4 times he knows how to pace himself and where to take the risks.
Remy Absalon has won here four times, he knows how to pace himself and where to take the risks.

Megavalanche 2016 - Qualifying

A big gondola ride to the top.
A big gondola ride to the top.

Megavalanche 2016 - Qualifying

Rider in the gate waiting for the carnage to begin.
Rider in the gate, waiting for the carnage to begin.

And straight into the action Remy Absalon caught the holeshot and managed to hold onto it until the bottom he won his heat closely followed by Liam Moynihan. Remy got the second fastest time of the day.
And straight into the action, Remy Absalon caught the holeshot and managed to hold onto it until the bottom, he won his heat closely followed by Liam Moynihan. Remy got the second fastest time of the day.

Patchy snow in between the big sheet rock.
Patchy snow in between the big sheet rock.

Megavalanche 2016 - Qualifying

Kilian Bron leading out of the gate who also managed to hold onto that until the end.
Kilian Bron leading out of the gate who also managed to hold onto that until the end.

Carnage for the riders towards the back of the pack.
Carnage for the riders towards the back of the pack.

Bike down rider nowhere to be seen. Caught in the stampede.
Bike down, rider nowhere to be seen. Caught in the stampede.

Matti Lehikoinen said that bike skills don t matter once you hit a rut like this one you ve just got to get through it with your legs off. He was fastest here at the top but dropped back to 4th. . Cedric Ravanel Green Commencal kit took the win in this heat.
Matti Lehikoinen said that bike skills don't matter once you hit a rut like this one, you've just got to get through it with your legs off. He was fastest here at the top, but dropped back to 4th. Cedric Ravanel (Green Commencal kit) took the win in this heat.

Thumbs up from this injured rider we re sure it s not the way he imagined getting down the mountain today.
Thumbs up from this injured rider, we're sure it's not the way he imagined getting down the mountain today.

Deep ice ruts.
Deep ice ruts.

Cedric Gracia is here on his first ever Megavalanche came down and took the win in his heat.
Cedric Gracia is here on his first ever Megavalanche. He came down and took the win in his heat.

Baptiste Gaillot.
Baptiste Gaillot.

Big swooping corners filled with dust.
Big swooping corners, filled with dust.

Stefan Peter.
Stefan Peter.

Lewis Bradley.
Lewis Bradley.

This section is key to hold as much speed as possible it s just before a small climb.
This section is key to holding as much speed as possible, it's just before a small climb.

Megavalanche 2016 - Qualifying

Dimitri Tordo 2nd closely followed her by Gustav Wildhaber who finished in first place in this heat.
Dimitri Tordo 2nd, closely followed by Gustav Wildhaber who finished in first place in this heat.

Megavalanche 2016 - Qualifying

Nico Quere won his heat powering through this super fun bit of trail.
Nico Quere won his heat, powering through this super fun bit of trail.

Nope he s not heading for the lake he hit the ground pretty hard here but got back up and was straight back to it.
Nope, he's not heading for the lake, he hit the ground pretty hard here but got back up and was straight back to it.

Joe Adsett.
Joe Adsett.

Megavalanche 2016 - Qualifying

Second fastest girl Bex Barona.
Second fastest girl, Bex Baraona.

Megavalanche 2016 - Qualifying

Emily Slaco looking aggressive and into 5th place.
Emily Slaco looking aggressive and into 5th place.

Megavalanche 2016 - Qualifying

Two flats for Morgane Jonnier today but still smiling as she crossed the line.
Two flats for Morgane Jonnier, but still smiling as she crossed the line.

Pauline Dieffenthaler 3rd place today.
Pauline Dieffenthaler, 3rd place today.

Megavalanche 2016 - Qualifying

Camille Servant finished in second place in his heat today.
Camille Servant, finished in second place in his heat today.

And relax before the big race.
And relax before the big race.

A cheese and crackers party at the Moynihan residence.
A cheese and crackers party at the Moynihan residence.

Fastest woman down the hill today Cecile Ravanel.
Fastest woman down the hill today, Cecile Ravanel.

Riders pick up their stickers today signify which row they ll be starting in.
Riders pick up their stickers to signify which row they'll be starting in.

One fast Hardtail. 12th place for Darren Evans today doing it for the Hardtail lovers out there.
One fast Hardtail. 12th place for Darren Evans, doing it for the Hardtail lovers out there.

Megavalanche 2016 - Qualifying

See you tomorrow
See you for finals!



43 Comments

  • + 77
 Mega on a hardtail, what a champ!
  • + 2
 scrolled few times through it and I see no hardtails. which one?
  • + 16
 Not just a hardtail. On a Stanton!!
  • + 3
 @ictus: 3rd last pic, no bike though.
  • + 5
 @slowrider73: Yeah man! Way to go Darren! Your'e a true Hardman.
Wonder if it was steel or Ti Switchback? Plus tires?
My Stanton should be shipping this month. Dan? Dan?
  • + 3
 @SteveDekker: pretty sure he rides an emerald green 16.5" steel Switchback..
  • + 5
 His poor rear wheel Frown
  • + 3
 @silverfish1974: Cool. Your red ones nice!
  • + 8
 @ictus: you might have to do some reading instead of just scrolling photos.
  • + 2
 He rides my local dh series guy is mega quick
  • + 1
 @SteveDekker: thanks man..
  • + 22
 Respect to the hardtail rider. Thats fucking nuts
  • + 0
 which photo? I must be blind
  • + 9
 I am blind, you mean the guy in the Stanton shirt right? Razz
  • + 1
 @Grouty2505: Yes, that guy
  • + 10
 Why is this not Live broadcast? I want to do this soooo bad.
  • + 2
 ´Cause it would be too Big Show... not just inside mtbiking world... They don´t want new players fighting to atract main audiences.... specially in ultra boring Tour de France and F1 days... call me conspiracionist!...
  • + 4
 Screw the broadcast,get yourself there and livre the dream!
  • + 4
 Yeh, love seeing the images and hearing the stories, but why has no one ever taken this on for Tv/ interweb... Must be the interest by now with such a heritage... Beats watching tour de France.
  • + 2
 I am in Alp Duez now, the mountain looks huge. Thats an amazing race.. I cant die without trying this race one day is so unique... the singletrack looks like heaven
  • + 4
 What wheels was hardtail guy running? I need them. Lol
  • + 2
 I use syntace mx 35 wheels
  • + 5
 I spy a Rockshox Totem
  • + 3
 I'd like to see a picture of the bike the hard tail guy used. Mega props to that dude!
  • + 4
 I think I need to head back to ADH and tackle the Mega again.
  • + 2
 You don't think you need. You know you need. See you there,7 times wasn't enough for me.
  • + 2
 Id love to go and ride the trails, just not in the race! It looks a but too nuts for me! But the location is stunning.
  • + 2
 Yeah I'm not getting run over by a bunch of guys who can't stop in the snow. Screw that
  • + 2
 This is seriously like the Running Of The Bulls ON WHEELS! Fantastic pictures too!
  • + 2
 Great pics. Shitload of riders! Pure Awesome!
  • + 2
 Awesome pics making we want to go back again
  • + 1
 Are any guys riding 27.5+ at this race.....bigger tires would they help in the snow top section?
  • + 4
 I don't think that would be an advanage, last year's winner Remy Absalon rode a 27,5+ frame with 29 wheels
  • + 3
 This needs to be on TV..
  • + 2
 Fantastic pics!
  • + 1
 Why the brushguards on the bike?
  • + 2
 I assume it's because of the other riders. When touching them this might engage your brakes. As i learned hooking up handlebars is not a good idea either. But that's part od the game here Smile
  • + 2
 @Muckal: makes sense for a race like this
  • + 0
 A lot of french riders seem to be rockin them these days.
  • + 1
 Camille (Servant) has them on all the time - at least I've seen him ride them in several other places, also during training.
  • + 2
 nice work em
  • - 1
 There's s some fugly jerseys up on that hill

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