Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

PRATICE AND QUALIFICATION DAY

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

The last light before qualification day.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

Riders wait for the cableway to take them 3,330 meters to the race starting point.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

Prepped for the top, ready to ride.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

The line is long to Pic Blanc.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

The gondola ride the the qualification point ends here, high in the French Alps.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

It’s a breathtaking ride.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

Riders disembark from the gondola and head to the starting point.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

Getting in a practice wheelie.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

Riders of all ages participate in this deeply unique event.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

The terrain is challenging, fun and unforgiving all at once.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

Tea time at the summit.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

Before the event there are smiles and photos to be taken.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

First line riders at the starting point of the race. Front and center in yellow and blue is Liam Moynihan, representing Bluegrass. Next to him in the orange helmet is eventual Megavalanche Alpe d’Huez winner Rémy Absalon.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

It’s a rainbow of competitors.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

They riders are off and racing.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

The Megavalanche event has some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world, though we’re quite certain the riders are quite focus don what’s directly ahead of them.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

The competition is fierce and parts of the course are quite packed.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

Riders bomb down the glacier on qualifying day.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

Liam Moynihan chasing Rémy Absalon Glacier, rock and dirt.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

Thomas Lapeyrie in the lead for the qualifying run.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

Keké Bron runs alongside another rider as they prepare to round a curve.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

Glacial lakes are as blue as the sky.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

Rounding a tight turn with a mountain range as a backdrop.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

Portions of the course are quite narrow and rocky.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

A lone rider drops into a descending course turn.

FLAT TIRES AND CRASHES

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

The Megavalanche course takes its toll on bikes and riders alike.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

Tire repair kits are a necessity.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

Injuries are an unfortunate reality of such a challenging event.

THE EXPO VILLAGE

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

The Bluegrass Arch is the qualifier finish line, and also a beacon in the Expo Village.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

The Expo Village is where fans and riders alike can relax and take in the sites.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

Visitors get an up close and personal look at the 2017 range of Bluegrass gear.

TOP RIDERS PRESENTATION

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

The first line riders for the qualifying run.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

Bluegrass rider Liam Moynihan hangs out with his sister (left) and girlfriend.

THE NIGHT BEFORE THE RACE

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

The Megavalanche organization crew have dinner the night before the race.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

A starry, moonlit night on the Alp D’huez.

RACE DAY

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

Riders take their place in the gondolas on their way to the top for race day.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

Prepped and ready. Insert coin.

THE GOLDEN HOUR

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

The sun is rising, the mountain calls to the competitors.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

Did we mention it gets quite cold?

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

Pic Blanc, the top of the mountain.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

Race day is here, the ride will come, but quiet time to enjoy the scenery is in order.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

It’s almost time.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

The rider’s bikes are places at the starting point.

WARMING UP

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

Marking the course.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

This way to the longest downhill race in the world.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

First line qualifier bikes.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

Yes, stretching is probably a good idea.

READY TO RUMBLE

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

Racers at the line, it’s almost time!

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

The course is pristine, but that won’t be the case for long.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

Alarm, la bomba!

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

And they’re off!

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

At this moment the riders are all equal...

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

Colors, bikes, slushy snow and rocky mountain madness.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

Seriously, that’s a lot of folks.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

Like, a whole lot.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

Can you believe this is just the beginning?

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

As the race goes on, the mass of riders spreads out significantly.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

No more pristine snow. This is what it looks like when hundreds of riders attack a course.

AFTER THE FINISH LINE

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

Some members of Team Sunn, also sponsored by Bluegrass, enjoy some hangout time after the race.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

Megavalanche isn’t just for youngsters. These surly vets are tough as nails and can hold their own on the mountainous downhill course.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

It’s a rough and tumble, dirty race. Gotta clean those bikes once they’ve done their duty.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

Rémy Absalon has a lot to smile about after the race.

Megavalanche 2016 powered by Bluegrass

Finally, the Megavalanche Alpe d’Huez top 5 in order - Rémy Absalon, Damien Oton, François Bailly Maitre, Gusti Wildhaber and Cédric Ravanel.