Video: Raw Chaos & Carnage from Megavalanche 2022

Jul 4, 2022
by Ed Spratt  

bigquotesChaos from the Megavalanche 2022! CRC

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edspratt avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2017
2,851 articles

  • 216 2
 First Brit invasion was 2007, the year after Steve Jones / dirt mag went out and said EVERYBODY do this race!!

There were 8 in our gang. Bikes in one van, rest in my early 90s Honda Civic. I told everyone is was recently serviced, and have EU road cover. I lied. I’d never lifted the bonnet, it had 160k on the clock.

Halfway through France the bumper fell off and the bonnet popped. We gaffer taped it. It smoked all the way there. Once at Alpe duez, the next day, having none of us ridden the alps before, we decided to straight to the top. Covered in cloud we couldn’t appreciate the height, or the insane amount of snow. It was Tuesday of that week. We all got separated and my mate nearly had an asthma attack. We only found our mates by screaming through the cloud.

Battered, and in mild shock, (remember, the bikes in 07, no droppers, skinny bars, shit chain devices two rings..) we had lunch in Du’ez’

Being a mechanic I fixed a few bikes, we decided to head to the next lift and ride the big long berm track back to the car under the main lift. I missed a line chasing my cousin, big OTB, I semi woke in a body bag, my left hand was a mess. Back at the med centre they used rusty bolt croppers to cut my family gold ring off (120yrs old) because my knuckles were massive and fingers were swelling. I never had it x rayed so not sure how bad it was broke. I was in and out of concussion.

Half a days riding I was done. Spent the week in the chalet talking crap to myself apparently.

Just me and my cousin went out in 2008. No plans, no accommodation booking, and my Tomac magnum 48lbs DH bike on the rack.. apart from the awful weather, highlight was overtaking a ton of riders by taking a ticket through the biggest ass boulder field A-La Tomac Magnum. Then my XTR mech and chain exploded. Still finished it though. Ended up renting a tiny chalet.

Not the end of 08 by a long shot, on the way home through France, near Reims, my cousins car, a Suburu twin turbo legacy estate, the bottom end fell out. 95mph, the wheels locked up. No euro road cover, two bars on my phone, rural France. A motorway dude, opened the bonnet and shouted “KAP-PUT” using a knife slice effect across his throat. We got towed to a local garage and paid a ton of cash to get towed to Calias at 40mph. Once there, on the ferry one bar on my phone, I upgraded my AA membership. Called them at Dover .. 26hr round trip, no sleep, a dead car, and two dudes not talking much

09, and a big gang, all mad fun, usual chaos.

10’ I tagged in my mates Porsche 4x4, I was working for hotlines, so had a half decent bike for the first time. Got on the second row of the challengers race, got 32nd overall, 11th in my age group. I broke down at the finish. I felt so dam lucky to spend a lifetime in a sport I loved so much, and to be able to experience pushing myself way, way beyond anything I’d ever done before. It completely ruined me & I felt privileged.

Next up, 2013…..

Again a big gang. I had a semi pimped Saracen Ariel. Fun little bike. First days riding, we were on the qualifying track on the Tuesday. Ot was a bit wet, we came to the north shore drop off that you can easy see under the charlifts. Ridden it loads before. This time, someone of me stalled, lost speed, he landed but got bounced pretty, stayed on. I didn’t, I couldn’t pull up enough, I got thrown off quite into a giant rock. Cracked helmet but my right had took it most, I retro-lunite dislocated my wrist (almost a complete internal separation of hand) - with help, I got down the fire road, nearly fainted, ate a ton of haribo, tied my arm up and rode the fire roads to the Alpe Duez med centre.

They gave some bad shit drugs really bad reaction, ambulance ride to Grenoble with some mates chasing us, lights flashing. In the hospital I puked and totally spun out, I’d obviously had an head injury but they were looking at my massive bulging wrist. Then I was taken (even faster) to Grenoble CHU, much bigger. Michael Smumacher was there at the time I think.

Anyways, after being assessed my two lovely French nurses, I was left in a corridor, i wasn’t allowed to sit up, in a stretcher. No real English was spoken. Next to was a woman lying casually with a next brace breathing from a hole in her throat, hair covered in dried blood. Ended up sharing a room with this French model or musician who had a finger ripped out. Poor fella kept crying like a baby. I’d no real idea what I’d done to my wrist, or why my ears were ringing so dam bad.

Next thing I was in my kitchen, watching King Kong making a wooden door frame on the floor. I was in my dressing gown watching him with a cup of tea. Suddenly he realised he made it to big. He lifted in front of me, i was in sheer terror, he was about to go absolutely mental… someone’s rubbing my arm gently.. “messur Tomlinson, it is time for your operation” …

It was 330am. I was liking the Morphine..

Still no English, I was wheeled through couridoors and a lift, ceiling lights blinding me in the rush. It was like the bloody x-files. I had no idea what was happening.. we’re they gona knocked me out, or just my arm??

I was laid out in theatre, arm on steel table, a screen was pulled over it, big injection or can’t remember where exactly. Then I head a saw which was quite loaded. French nurse stroked me to sleep. I woke with a huge plaster cast. 4 days in hospital. Had the wires and bolts taken out back home much later. Had to learn how to ride at the same speed with a bent messeed wrist. Thanks to Mobius braces. !

I had memory issues for a good while had have suffered from tinnitus every second of every day since. I learned to cope with that pretty quickly. Simple acceptance is the key. You can’t fight any kind of destiny. Oh and a pancaked vertebrae in my neck, which flared up only last week, after years of random valium use I’m considering an Op. to replace it with a bit plastic.

I’d be surprised if anyones read this far tbh, just though I’d mention my Mega history, as no one will know, only my mates and family as I’m only an average rider and won’t get interviewed or anything !!

Just one of many I guess, along with near death from septicaemia (didn’t wear elbow pads that day) and usual coller bone that pokes out like Ron Js winky.

My fascination has been the learning to cope and carry on. Currently racing the other Rad dads in Uk south region BMX with my sons, but I think I’ll quit next year, not much margin for error in bmx racing.

I just love riding and racing bikes. And so do my boys.

One day, I’ll go back to the mega with them both. That mountain can kiss my ass
  • 47 1
 This is incredible. Pinkbike sign this guy up for some more storytelling
  • 26 0
 Good lord man, I simultaneously pity your sorry ass and admire your joi de vive.
  • 13 1
 That was a fantastic read.
  • 4 1
 @HankHank: he'd not get a look in, posting videos someone else has made seems to be the current thing with pinkbike contributors.
  • 16 1
 @mikelevy get this guy on the podcast
  • 8 1
 Amazing story - best thing I have read in ages! Sounds like some epic mega adventures dude
  • 65 0 you want a job?
  • 2 0
 I remember the '08 edition like it was yesterday. The WET one. When everyone rode DH bikes, with body armour and gigantic packs filled with everything Camped cars bogged for days, good times!
  • 2 0
 @powermutant: it was mental mate, back then enduro bikes weren’t a thing, the CRC boys were there prototyping the first nukeproof mega. The bike to have was the Lapierre spicy. If not, you was on a DH bike! Saying that, the year before, (from what I remember ..) I did see a chap with a 2001 GT I drive, with bar ends. A the top, in the snow. But that’s how the event began in the mid 90s. A little less competitive obviously simply because the bikes weren’t really upto it.
  • 2 0
 @threesixtykickflip: if your talking what I wrote cheers dude, yeas it’s been a ride mate ! I’ve been as unlucky as lucky you could say. And not just the mega adventures either.
  • 3 1
 @brianpark: huh me I’ve been through a fair bit I guess
  • 4 0
 Loved reading this. I hit my head on that rock in 2013 as well, but was lucky enough to crawl away from it.
Didn't get seriously injured until my race.
Here's my blog about it, not quite as eventful as the account above but I like to think it captures the event quite well:
  • 4 0
 fellow tinnitus sufferer here... it's a real bitch, but it's encouraging to hear your optimism about it. Thank you!
  • 5 0
 @uh-no: no worries dude, mine gets really bad when it’s bedtime, so I either go to bed, like a good boy, or turn the music up ! Just don’t fight it. Acceptance is your weapon. Same with all injuries that we suffer from afterwards.
  • 5 0
 i had to login at work just to give thumbs up. you deserve it
  • 3 0
 @cristiantomlinson Great writing,and totally relatable.
I've been to the Mega 7 times between 2001 and 2010,and also have a bunch of storys like that,even 2 trips to the Grenoble hospital,thankfully for minor problems.
I remember very well the first years of the Brit invasion,the Mega changed considerably after that.
Hope your injuries heal well and don't bother you to much,and someday we'll meet again at Pic Blanc!
  • 2 0
 @Wildpack: thanks dude appreciated
  • 4 0
 @nozes: hey man, great reply, and thanks. It’s always an adventure. I’d love to go again but all my mates have refused my invite lol - plus I might not get the insurance
  • 3 1
 @brianpark: This is magazine material, not a post that'll be forgotten online a week after its up. Just sayin: PB magazine. Yeah, I know. Not.
  • 4 0
 Bravo Sir! A life well lived, with more to come. Cheers, and thank you for living life like you really mean it. Kudos.
  • 4 0
 Fantastic mini article there! Pinkbike, please post this as a actual article, maybe include some more detail and flush it out s little and let the masses read the best post on the year. Did laugh out loud about the thought of driving a twin turbo legacy to the alps from the UK now on current petrol prices, couldn't even afford the UK leg in that gas guzzler just now! Haha
  • 2 0
 @TomsiR: hey dude, many thanks mate. What I wrote above is full of bad grammar and mistakes, but hand on heart, I was back on Diazepam (the 2013 event..) and had no dinner, so I was not quite at full operating speed so to speak. Lol - The Suburu death trip was in 2008, prices weren’t as high then!

It’s true, I have missed out bits, and I’d have to catch up with my crew for some memory jogs. I’ve got more to tell and do love writing.
  • 2 0
 you're a god dang national hero
  • 4 0
 “I’d be surprised if anyone reads this far…” Are you kidding!!? Best read on here in a long time!

Funnily enough, reading/writing this on our yearly trip back from Morzine. Only a couple of smashes into trees and berms, so nothing like you went through.
  • 3 0
 @cristiantomlinson: This needs to be its on FULL PD PODCAST all caps.
  • 4 0
 @Mtn-Goat-13: haha, cheers dude. Tbh it’s not just the mega, there’s more to tell. Did my first DH race in 94.. I’ve msg’d @brianpark , either way no stress. Have to say massive thanks for all the kind comments everyone, glad I can entertain
  • 9 0
 I was (un)fortunate enough to be part of the 2007 trip....Some points to add.....

The Honda had a rust hole in the door which you made bigger as we got further south because you liked the air it blew onto your legs.

The Honda rear lights didnt work (any of them), we found this out while in the Alps.

You had one CD in the car - Top Gear soundtrack, no radio.

Your farts were sickening.

You did not want to pay for a doctors note to prove you were fit enough to ride (from UK doctor) so took the note and didnt pay on the way out, as a result after the crash you did not return to your GP in the UK in fear of having to pay up for the note.

You spent the days after your crash playing xbox & sleeping. You drove us back to the UK, had your hospital notes translated to find out it said you must not watch TV or drive for two weeks.
  • 5 0
 @mattlynn: ah yeah, uummmm didn’t I fake Docters notes for everybody else as well?! I’m sure I did. A bit hazy that one. Catch up soon mate thanks for the input and my sincere deepest apologies for the farts. NOT
  • 2 0
 Epic stories! Give him a job. I’d be keen on an article about Rad Dad bmx racing.
  • 1 0
 @Barrington137: cheers dude. Me and my 8yr old son, Ezra, have the last round of the Uk south regionals this Sunday, to qualify for the British champs. I am by no means a BMX racer, I do hold back, but I wana show and experience it personally with my son, for this year only, to equip me with relevant & direct experience (along with 30yrs of racing mtb) for his, and his younger brothers racing future. WITHOUT being the “competitive dreaded dad” - the sport is amazing for teaching kids how to deal with failure, frustration, exhaustion, elation, and sportsmanship. The Rad dads / papa performance, it’s like racing a bunch of WW2 fighter planes, and man, when one goes down in flames, and your near it, the ground shakes. It’s terror. We lost one team member only last week to broken ribs and smashed collerbone.. I’ve stopped counting my lucky stars. @brianpark interested?
  • 2 0
 @Wildpack: Same here! Epic story!
  • 2 0
 @cristiantomlinson: sounds awesome I raced a few seasons of BMX here in Auckland, NZ. I wasn’t the fastest and I definitely didn’t have the flashest bike but it was a great experience! Funny i was the one pushing my Dad to take me to the track or the skatepark, now its me pushing my 9yo daughter to come outside for a ride. No BMX racing for her yet but I’ll keep trying for a few laps of the local pump track. If she got into it I would be there in the dad’s race in a flash.
  • 1 0
 @Barrington137: great to hear dude. Is there a local bmx club you can join ? Most do intro sessions for kids
  • 19 0
 Mental note, if I ever do something like this, NEVER LET GO OF YOUR BIKE!!!!
  • 1 0
 Mental note: don't EVER do anything like this! ;'D
  • 11 1
 More tripods than in a B&H store. Looks super fun though. If I had a spare drivetrain and wheels I would go there in an instant.
  • 5 0
 I'd top that list with a spare helmet
  • 8 0
 I'm gonna need a whole spare body.
  • 4 0
 I've know Cristian for over 25 years and he has many stories like this one about the Mega.. over the years we've had some crazy times on our bikes but i never had a chance to race the mega avalanche.. hearing the stories and seeing the injuries Cristian and from other friends that have raced the event it sound like a battle zone full of dedicated racers risking there bodies and bikes for a sport they love.. I just hope one day i can have the same experiences.. I want to hear more memories from racing and riding from Cristian.. Give him his own monthly slot..... Nathan
  • 7 0
 The gentleman at 2:19 has good manners.
  • 6 0
 A lot of sled background here.
  • 2 0
 Just got back from alpe d'Huez, a 16 hour drive. What an incredible 9 days of riding. The qualifier is absolutely mental and the real test of the event. I came 58th out of 94 putting me in the megavalanche challengers event. The main event is more of a slog with very few passing points on the top half making it more frustrating than enjoyable but still I'm happy to say I've done it! The most unforgiving terrain there is going. A heavy slam onto my wrist on the second day restricted my riding but I still made sure I gave it bloody good go! Highly recommend to anyone but it is nerve wrecking and brutal on the body and bike. Got away with just a snapped shifter cable the whole time!
  • 5 0
 Damn, this looks fun. We need full drone coverage of the race.
  • 4 1
 Being saying that for more 10 years... get full heli coverage top to bottom live mode or broadcasted... they had budget for the Heli and even like that they didn't try... Now you could fit the drone operator guy into the helicopter with the antena pointing the drone al time and you've got 2 different views from the air... one further the other closer... but this might happen when robots replace human race...
  • 1 0
 I did it in 2017, late August, no one around, only saw 2 other riders near the bottom. There was no snow left, just a Boulder field at the top, but having the mountain to yourself on a bluebird day and a classic long descent of 2600m is something not to be missed in your lifetime. Hit up Les Deux Alps and La Grave while your there!
  • 3 0
 Pro tip: Bring two big Hefty bags; one for your butt and one for your bike.
  • 10 8
 PB now only sharing vids from 3rd party sites?
very much lacking on their original this the beginning of an end?
  • 5 0
 To be fair everyone was moaning a few days before the Fort William DH that there was zero content, then loads appeared over the weekend. Having Megavalanche coverage would be sweet but if you've got to focus on one thing the World Cup has to be it
  • 1 1
 Megavalanche, E-EWS Vallberg... only for mocking now here on PB... despite they are one of the greatest show on 2 wheel... only lame news from PB... cause we gotta smoke the grey highlights from EWS
  • 4 0
 Yeah I wondered too why there are so many reposted videos and so little reviews lately. A few thorough articles from allicia but other than that, it is pretty quiet here with original content.
  • 9 1
 We have quite a few people on well-deserved vacations or working on projects at the moment. But we have the Lenzerheide World Cup this week and Eurobike/Vallnord World Cup next week so there is plenty of content coming.
  • 1 0
 Ya where’s Tippi when you need him!
  • 4 0
 cue the Benny Hill music...
  • 3 0
 Sorry for the misspelling my diazepam is jus t wearing off and sorry it went on so long !
  • 4 0
 No results list?
  • 1 0
 checked the official page, nothing...
  • 1 0
 The hill does not look too steep in the images, but judging by how the riders are struggling, I can only assume that it is terribly steep!
  • 1 1
 There was only one snow section that I thought was too steep to ride, though the snow was quite slushy and wheel-grabby when I did it. There's a high chance that a lot of this is filmed on that steep-ish bit though.
  • 3 0
 Pit- viper Merch spotted !!

  • 3 0
 Disney on Ice
  • 2 0
 1:00 that speed !!!! Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin
  • 1 0
 T’was very enjoyable! Will defo come back for another crack at some point
  • 3 0
 Lemmings spring to mind.
  • 2 0
 Bet the bike industry and shops love this event
  • 1 0
 You couldn’t write comedy better than this. Looks hella fun.
  • 1 0
 A lot of snow-filled baggies there.
  • 1 0
 Dumb question: No fatbikes allowed?
  • 1 0
 Allowed but not advisable..
I was in Alpe d'Huez in the mega week and I saw at least 1 fatbike which was competing.
Would say chance of puncture is near 100%.
  • 1 0
 I think the snow/ice is like 2% of the race... for the rest you'd be hating life.
  • 1 0
 I wonder how many brake levers were "donated" to the hill?
  • 2 2
 Looks like the local 5-year olds doing their first lap down Half Nelson in bike camp.
  • 1 0
 The only bike event I would wanna wear a jockstrap and a cup.
  • 1 0
 This video needs a Warren Miller narration... and that music.
  • 1 0
 ahh good times Smile
  • 1 0
 I like loam
  • 1 0
 There’s still snow?
  • 1 1
 U niggaz is career af!!
  • 1 2
 Them bloody noobs.
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