MEGA ROUND UP:
A day-by-day breakdown of all the action from the 2023 Megavalanche.
In 2023, we brought Chris, Harry, Vero, Ronan and Louise from the Continental-Nukeproof Factory team and Hotlines-Nukeproof French Enduro team to join us for the week, plus special guests Blake and Hank from GCN and GMBN. The week is always designed as a mid-season break from World Cup action, set up for athletes to ride with our staff and each other under no stress, but with a little bit of healthy competition to add some spice at the end of the week. It's one of the most fun weeks of the year where riders can race and ride alongside the pro's as equals.
For the 4th year, Nukeproof was a proud sponsor of the Megavalanche and E-Bike Megavalanche race. The Megavalanche and Alpe D'Huez holds a special place in Nukeproof's history as the event that inspired the design use of the bike named after the event; The Mega. Pre-dating the "Enduro" race scene, our head honchos designed a frame that excelled on the Megavalanche descents, but the ability to pedal and climb efficiently (there is more pedalling than you think on the Mega!
It is the ultimate bucket list event that ever rider should try attend. See you in 2024?
DAY 1 CHRIS CUMMING SCHRALPS THE BLUE'S:
Continental-Nukeproof Factory ace, Chris Cumming takes a lap of the Run DMC Blue run and Schralps the turns.
DAY 2: FULL RUN OF THE MEGAVALANCHE QUALIFYING:
Qualifying? Yes you have to qualify to race the Megavalanche. It is done on a seperate track from the Megavalanche, starting lower down the mountain and finishing in Alpe D'Huez. It takes roughly 15-20mins to race. The finish order deCermins where you start the main race. 1st place and fastest will have 1st pick in the main race and so on.
1-30 Start in the main race Sunday
30-60 Go into Saturdays amature race
60-90 into the Challanger on Sunday
90+ race for a time on Saturday after the AM race.
Ladies race Saturday (all qualify) - finishing order determins what place you start in the lines
E-Bikes race Saturday (all qualify)
Here is a full run for Continental-Nukeproof Factory aces, Veronika Widman, Chris Cumming & Harry Molloy lap the Megavalanche Qualifing track.
DAY 3 FULL RUNS AND DUAL SLALOM PHOTO EPIC:
Start of the weeks races, with he dual slalom.
Its just a fun evening of races on the super dusty Alpe D'Huez dual course. Arriving a little late from riding the race track, the Nukeproof team embraced the ride and hope philosophy. Chris Cummings put on a wild show with some huge transfer lines, but suffered the same fate as team boss Harry Molloy washing out in the quater finals after winning the first heat.
Veronika Widman grabbed house bragging rights with the win in the women's race laying down multiple heater runs.
DAY 4 QUALIFYING PHOTO EPIC:
Friday is the start of the "Megavalanche" race, with qualifying placing riders in their starting order. 1st row grid place is crucial for the run down Pic Blanc.
The Qualifying track is totally seperate to the main race track, starting lightly lower on the mountain. The track is rock rough and 20mins of brutal racing.
Veronika got a decent start, but clashed bars with another rider, resulting in a visit to the floor. This left Ronnie in dead last but after sorting her handlebars she battled back to an awesome 9th place. Chris Cumming and Harry Molloy pulled off a few moves to finish 6th and 9th.
Shout out to Hank from GCN who managed to qualify for the Megavalanch main race with a top 20 result, with hsi coach Blake Samson from GMBN sliding into the main race too. Both using ther GMBN spec Mega 297's.
FULL QUALIFYING RUN WITH RONNIE
Continental-Nukeproof Factory aces, Veronika Widman Megavalanche qualifying run.
A clash of bars off the line resulted in Veronika "Ronnie" Widman taking a slam. No injuries but as she lost tiem sorting her bars and saddle she wached the field sail away.
A quick fix, she was on hunt. Watch as she picks off 46 riders tgo from dead last to 9th overall and close the gapto 90seconds from the overall qualifying winner.
Ronnie embracing the Nukeproof attitude.
FULL QUALIFYING RUN WITH CHRIS
Continental-Nukeproof Factory aces, Chris Cumming Megavalanche qualifying run.
You wouldnt know he injured his wrist at Val Di Sol World Cup the week prior. The Mega holds a nice place with Chris, when he joined Sam Hill and crew for his first international event on his own at the tender age of 15. Chris battled off the line to take a credible 6th place finish and a 2nd row starting position in the main event.
DAY 5 WOMEN'S ELITE RACE:
Whilst Saturday is a chance to rest and relax for the men, its women's race day. Veronika took an 6am trip to Pic Blanc summit to get ready for the mass start.
Despite cool weather all week, th eheat started to melt the snow and after the E-Bike races had started it left the main slopes looking like a slushy war zone. Committed from the top, Ronnie got a good start for her first ever snow race and exited the snow in sight of front. After passing all but two female riders (and the tail end of the E-Bike riders), she had a small crash on in the rocks and dislodged her shifter.
This left her in one gear (11th) for the remaining 2/3rds of the race. As with the qualifying she dug deep and finished a heroic 3rd place. She was welcomed into the finish by her Continental-Nukeproof Factory team mates; Chris and Harry
Well done Ronnie, you utter legend.
FULL RACE RUN WITH RONNIE
Continental-Nukeproof Factory aces, Veronika Widman Megavalanche race run. It smay have been her first mass start event, but she crushed it. One gear, no problem. She made it up the climbs and slayed the descents. "Ronnie Wildman" may be back on her Mega next year for more.
DAY 6 MEN'S ELITE RACE:
It's a special race. 400 riders qualifying for he main race via Fridays qualifing event. These are made up fromt he top 30 qualifiers, including some of the best enduro athletes, YouTube stars and fast amatures. Its a chance for riders to go bar to bar with their heros. The first aim is to simply make the finish line, then aim for as high a place as you can. The trails are brutal on th ebike, its easy to puncture, fast descents are mixed with punchy climbs challanging drivetrains, then their is the sheer exhaustion of racing at 3300m for between 30 mins to an hour. The Nukeproof team all qualified on the first 4 rows, but with the start delayed 30 mins, the snow had turned to slush so the lacjk of a crucial front row start to get the best run down the snow was more painful. But, this week was less about results and more about team bonding and fun, Chris and Harry rode together through the carnage and bodies and battled through the pack. Unfortunatly Chris suffered a crash towards the nd of the race dropping him down the order. Harry rode smart (knowing he had Red bull Hardline next week) and battled with a few riders down the course to 88th place. Congratulations to Hotlines-Nukeproof French ace Mael Feron who was first Nukeproof home in 25th place.
Huge Shout out again to Hank and Blake from GMBN! Stoked to see them both roll into the finish. Now for next year!
- Mael Feron, Nukeproof France- 25th
- Elouan Perisse, Nukeproof France- 60th
- Chris Hind -Nukeproof SRAM Team Mechanic 74th
- Louis Chazaly- Nukeproof France- 83rd
- Jean Marc Picard, Nukeproof- France- 85th
- Harry Molloy, Continental-Nukeproof 88th
- Pierre Lambert, Nukeproof- France- 90th
- Thomas German, Nukeproof-France- 96th
- Matt Calvez, Nukeproof France- 109th
- Louis Lambert, Nukeproof-France 197th
- Chris Cumming, Continental-Nukeproof- 293rd