The ‘Megavalanche’ Bike Race Is an Insane Icy Bloodbath
Thousands of mountain bikers smash their way through a glacier in this crazy downhill race.
Downhill mountain bike races are nuts. You’re basically on a 40-pound motorcycle with no engine and barreling at 30mph or more over rocks, roots, cliffs, you name it—all while balancing on an insanely steep incline with switchbacks and, scariest of all, a bunch of other maniacs on 40-pound bikes trying to pass you. Even with as much armor as an Arthurian knight, you’re looking at some serious bodily harm if you veer off course or don’t manage to clear a baby head (biker slang for rocks the size of, what else, infant noggins).
Of all the crazy terrain you could find yourself blasting down, a glacier, coated with snow and ice, may seem the most insane. And yet that’s just what some 2,700 riders are doing in the French Alps, at a race aptly called the Megavalanche. Descending almost two miles down a mountain in a “mass-start” race, slamming and tumbling and slip-sliding away through the 20-mile course as they go, it’s a bloodbath.
Not a sport for the faint of heart in the best-case scenario, the Megavalanche is on the lunatic fringe. Watch a two-minute GoPro clip below and see what it’s like as some of the world’s best—and most adrenaline-addicted—riders plow their way through snow and each other in a race for the bottom. Even doping like Armstrong won’t help you navigate this mountain stage.