Steve Cockerham, our Sales and Commercial Manager has just returned from 6 days in the French Alps having completed the brutal Megavalanche race in Alpe D’Huez for the first time.
Generally considered the ultimate mountain bike race, it involves 2200 riders competing for start positions in various races starting at the summit of Pic Blanc (3300m) and finishing in Allemont some 19 miles and 2500m of vertical descent later.
After two days practice and altitude adjustment Steve qualified for the third mass start final on Sunday along with 249 other riders in his group who had to negotiate snow, ice, rocks, roots, dust and other riders wheels and elbows to reach Allemond as quickly as possible.
With a personal target of 1 hour and 45 minutes, Steve was delighted to have completed the course in only 1 hour and 23 minutes and suffered only minor separations from his bike on the way down. A good thing really as a key Mega tip is not to let go of your bike if you come off as if it makes its way over the edge you may not see it again.
After completing the event, Steve commented, “It was absolutely insane, the craziest thing I’ve ever done. The buildup to the start was terrifying and the trails were by far the rockiest and steepest I’ve ever experienced. It’s almost impossible to train for the Mega in the UK, we just don’t have that sort of terrain over more than a few minutes at a time”
Steve’s high-spec Orange Alpine 160mm travel full suspension bike demonstrated perfect reliability during the event. Built by Steve from a frame manufactured locally in Halifax by Orange Mountain Bikes, as its name suggests the Alpine is perfectly suited for this kind of terrain.
Steve’s next challenges will be comparatively more sedate UK enduro events later in 2012 with a probable return to tackle the Mega again in 2013 with a view to improving his finishing time and position.