Every mountain biker MUST experience the Megavalanche. I can honestly say this race was the craziest race I’ve ever done. As Claire said to me during practice, it’s about the adventure, cause anything can happen when you mass start at 3330 meters, on a glacier, and descend, climb and traverse for over an hour! Everyone has their story, here’s mine . . .
It’s a tough week with practice, qualifying and racing. The tracks are long, dusty, and demanding. Fun though, and totally different than any other riding I’ve done. When I went up to check out the snow, I have never been more petrified in my life on my bike, seriously! I went wayyyy to fast for my mind to handle, fishtailed when I hit a rut and somehow stayed on. My eyes definitely popped out of head at one point.
Over 75 girls entered, a combo of the World Cup DH girls, XC racers, Enduro specialists and random weekend warriors. The boys had to contend with around 1800!! All shapes and sizes were out.
Some pretty Euro looking get-ups out there, some that make sense (glasses instead of goggles, hydration packs), some that don’t (short shorts for example).
I was placed on the front line for the Quali start, 25 of us in each line. When you don’t know what to expect, you kind of have to go for the wing it approach. I had some sneaky pass lines in the rocky tech section, but then got forced to fall when someone fell in front of me only to smash into a big rock shortly after and catapult into more rocks. Ouch. I got up quickly but still managed to get passed by a few girls there and lost my rear brake in the process. I got some more sneaky passes in, and luckily on the last long descent I caught up to a girl and so I had to be on my brakes for quite a bit, which pumped it back out. I finally squeezed past her and finished 9th, right behind Claire. Top 25 get the front row for the final, so I was in for that, but feeling pretty beat up and can’t say I was super pumped about riding the next morning.
Part of the race day adventure is that you have to be taking the lift up at 6 am. Not normally my shining moment but I felt ok, and not as sore as I expected, good. Lots of hanging around up top, and chatting about how you’ll never do the race again! Claire and I lined ourselves up beside each other, laughed at the Mega tune (ALARMA!) and off we went. Well, sort of. As soon as the line lifted, we all went to go and went nowhere cause the snow was really soft. Complete opposite from practice. So we all tripoded, ran and flailed down the glacier it was RIDICULOUS. I heard Claire beside me going “Woaaaahhh woaaaahhhhhh, ahhhhhh, woahhhhhh!” Ha! It was hilarious! I’m not sure what spot I was in coming off the glacier, but I just kept going at a steady pace, passing and getting passed, finishing in 12th, again right behind Claire. I was secretly hoping for a top 10, but, as this race is somewhat of a gamble, I guess I did all right. If you haven’t already, you have to check out this video to somewhat understand the chaoticness: http://dirt.mpora.com/news/dirt-tv-megavalanche-saturday.html
Special mention goes out to Fee who did it on a DH bike and got top 10! And to Tracey who had a mechanical, fixed it, and still managed to fly past me to finish in 5th. Humbling.
Also, pumped for the DH boys who killed it – Top 10 Sam in 3rd, Matti in 5th and Bren in 9th.
Not sure if I’ll do the Mega again. I did say as soon as I got off the snow during practice that there was absolutely no way I’d ever do it again! Who knows though . . . maybe I’ll be back at it next year.