That French Race Which Everyone Is Talking About


As you all must have noticed there is a very big bike race which takes place in France every July, and has done for a number of years. Although technically it does not have the same status as the world championships or the Olympics it is arguably far more famous and prestigious than either of them and is the one every bike racer wants to try at least once. There is also a real chance of a British winner this year, which can only be a good thing given the rising popularity of cycling in the UK.


When it began all those years ago the event mainly featured French riders but it has since grown into a major event, attracting riders from all over the world. The entry list for this year reads like a who’s who of contemporary bike racing, despite the fact that Sir Bradley Wiggins will not be competing this time.

There is a question I would like to ask. Is it possible for a complete novice, such as myself, to compete in a race like this and hopefully make it to the finish in one piece? I know roughly what I’m doing as far as XC and Endurance mountainbiking goes but this discipline will be something almost entirely new to me, well outside my comfort zone.

I have however managed to get myself my entry and am currently sitting on the ferry writing this as I head over to the continent. I intend to write a day by day account of my trip to let you all know how I get on.

The Megavelanche itself takes place at Alpe D’Huez on July 13th, starting at the top of Pic Blanc and finishing in Allemont 8,800ft lower. Apparently there is also a road race going on somewhere at the moment but I know nothing about that.

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