What's wonderful about Megavalanche de la Réunion is that this race has invented the 10 day weekend. Usually, we meet riders during 3 race days with no time for fun, philosophical discussion or beers. It's all about the race and only the race ... Well, here on a little island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, something different is happening, something precious that we can call "time for fun and fraternity
". To be very precise, it means that you have time for discovering the beauty of the local land and culture, hang out with new and old friends. Nico Quere is one of many lucky people to experience that part of Reunion Island life...
Nicolas Quéré, a French young gun from the Commençal team who is a typical modern Enduro racer - a lot of style due to motocross and dirt bike practice, great skills on any sort of bike, simply saying, tons of speed and style. We had a chance to shoot with Nico on one of last year's qualification stages, which is shaped with many natural and man-made obstacles and to top it off a breathtaking view of the ocean. A perfect place for an end-of-day ride...
But we did not come to the island for holidays only ... Today, we witnessed some serious MTB race action during the qualification runs before tomorrow's finals. Qualification consisted of 4 stages, including 2 brand new ones, spread across 2000 vertical meters, starting at the top of Le Maido mountain and then to the finish at Boucan Canot beach. The format of the race was 3 riders every 60 seconds. The terrain varied from volcanic to rocky singletrack and was a real test not only to riders' skills and fitness, but also bikes' strength and especially wheels. Official Qualification Results for Megavalanche de la ReunionMen
1. Remy Absalon (Scott Sports) 29m22s
2. Nico Quere (Commencal) +28s
3. Christophe Payet (Scott) +40s
4. Pierre Charles Georges (Scott) +48s
5. Henri Ojala (Team Evoc) +1m10sWomen
1. Melanie Pugin (Banshee) 37m53s
2. Nadine Sapin (Scott) +44s
3. Marie Angelique Verguin (Intense) +4m16s"The qualification run was really hard, because the 1st stage was placed on very sharp volcanic rocks, 2nd stage was long, but really nice and very flowy, 3rd stage was a good stage to overtake other racers and gain some precious time to finish it all at 4th stage, which was very physical and took toll on already tired body. Not to mention heat pouring down on riders wearing full kit and mostly fullface helmets. All that hard work pays off when you approach the beach of a little town of Boucan Canot. This is an awesome place for so much needed rest and sip of cold beer. Now, looking forward until tomorrow's race run, being positive and keep my fingers crossed not to have any mechanical issues on the way down..." Remy Absalon
Cedric Gracia "5" had a great start in quali race, but unfortunately shortly after had a nasty mechanical on the rear wheel and lost his chance for a good place in the finals. Following him, Nico Quere had much better luck today and placed in a solid second spot.
Start of 2nd stage was in a totally different condition to the very top section of Le Maido volcanic mountain