Megavalanche Alpe d’Huez 2014 Qualifier


This is rather long I’m afraid, I’m sitting in the van with another 300miles to Calais to go. Stiff arms and shoulders and bruises remind me of the week I’ve just had. I wasn’t even going to ride the Mega, the conditions weren’t just wet, dirty & treachorous. It was just crap. Mud was binding to every moving part, the bike wouldn’t even be pushed or pedalled downhill. Total misery & frustration.

This was the same forecast virtually every day. The temperature up on the mountains was 10 degrees lower...


To avoid all the above, and that I was riding alone I hired a guide Eric and enjoyed the enduro riding, trails that were “forbidden”. I had Eric to myself, he said I rode well, as the week went on I got better and he gave me some useful tips and much confidence. But still, such limited riding hours were done, 2-3 hrs per day. The 3-4 degrees at 2100 metres in the rain and 12 degrees at 700metres was downright awful. It just wouldn’t stop raining and temperatures rarely went above 15degs all week. Thankfully I took the road bike out and got in a couple of climbs up Alp D’Huez, which was far more appealing…

Eric at Alpe d'Huez the sunshine resort.
Eric at Alpe d’Huez the sunshine resort.


The Qualifier route was shortened, bizarrely the sun came out for it. I hadn’t ridden it still, and though I was anxious of that, I was more worried about my race head kicking in over unfamiliar terrain. I didn’t want to make that phone call to work.. erm.. hi boss, I’ve injured myself… We watched some of the boys’ heats, a big crash in the first 50m left one guy requiring a lift down. Girls gridding; I’m at the flippin back, won’t be using my fast start then! 60odd women had made it to the qualies, 100 had originally entered. My start was awful, getting stuck behind everyone & having to walk some sections. Keeping smooth, I made it down in one piece, overtaking many en route, even went the wrong way at one point. Came in 26mins later in 21st position. Just made the front row thank goodness…

This Race is now on!

Want to know what happened on race day? click here