News | Rémy Absalon wins 2015 Mégavalanche

The 2015 MEGAVALANCHE is the 21st edition of the absolutely ridiculous, avalanche style race. With 2000 riders from 20 different countries, 20km of riding and 2,500m of descent, it’s seriously not for the faint hearted.

Rémy is a specialist of THE MEGAVALANCHE, one of the most famous and crazy MTB downhill marathon style races. He was ultra motivated to offer a first win in l’Alpe d’Huez to SR SUNTOUR, the main partner of the race since the beginning, and to SCOTT on the 2016 bike.

Remy
Rémy Absalon takes an impressive lead in the strong field at Alpe d-Huez
Rémy testing the snow during the practice
Rémy testing the snow during the practice

Much like most major races, you can’t just turn up and enter the MEGAVALANCHE. Qualifying is a miniature version to test the nerve and skill of all competitors, taking place on the Friday with more than 1000m of descent over 10km. The full race resides on the glacier summit of the Pic Blanc, 3300m above sea level, down to valley botton at Allemont.

Rémy has officially won 4 times in Alpe d’Huez and 5 times in Reuinion Island. A pretty impressive feat

Qualifying

Good warm up before the big race – Rémy had a pretty bad start from the top of the “Dôme des Grandes Rousses”. But he knows how to catch his competitors and crossed the finish line at l’Alpe d’Huez in 1st position ahead of Ludovic Oget. He raced for the second time of all the different qualifying groups, 0.5” behind Nicolas QUERE. He could start from the Glacier on the 1st line and choose his position.

Race

6am on the top of the Pic Blanc, sunrise – all the riders arrived on the glacier and had to wait for the departure 3 hours later. There was so much pressure in front of this crazy iced and steep slope, but no choice, when the gingle “Alarma” rang, they had to start as fast as possible #noshortcuts.

Rémy during the qualifying in the rocky section
Rémy during the qualifying in the rocky section
Happy ending for Rémy on the top of the box
Happy ending for Rémy on the top of the box

Rémy had a great start, avoiding all the habitual crashes, and was in 6th position. He decided to push harder in the second wall and overtook some riders at a crazy speed – more than 100kmh. Just after this part the snow had disappeared and the riders crossed some very rocky sections at this speed. Rémy was second after the snow in the rocky single-tracks and caught Sébastien CLAQUIN who completed the whole race alongside Nicolas QUERE.

In the middle of the race, in the physical section, he was ahead with Thomas LAPEYRIE, currently very fit. Thomas had an impressive uphill before tumbling to the last valley and escaped with 15” ahead. But it was not finished yet. Rémy had the downhill open wide and caught Thomas. It was a beautiful fight with some blockpasses, sprints on the flat road sections and he could finally overtake him and took the advantage until the finish for winning with more than 30” in advance. “I am so happy to win! This one was very hard with a great fight till the finish. I am also glad to be alive with this crazy glacier! My Genius LT Plus, with 29er wheels was the weapon for it!.”

Results

1st/ Rémy ABSALON (SCOTT SR Suntour Enduro Team)
2nd/ Thomas LAPEYRIE (Sunn)
3rd/ Yoann BARELLI (Giant Factory Off-Road Team)
4th/ Théo GALY (Devinci/Alltricks.com Enduro Racing)
5th/ Alex Cure (Rocky Mountain Urge BP Rally Team)

The next race will be the French EWS round in Samoëns – France the 19-20th of July.

Rémy proud of his new bike - Photo by Hoshi Yoshida
Rémy proud of his new bike – Photo by Hoshi Yoshida

Words & Photos: Hoshi Yoshida & UCC Sport Event / Cyril Charpin