It is now less than a month to go before the 23rd edition of the worldwide famous Mégavlanche – Alpe d’Huez. We have contacted for you several pro-riders to know how they feel before this event, and we asked them for some advices and also about their own fears for this crazy race::
Here are the exclusive interviews of : Rémy Absalon (5x winner in Alphe d’Huez – 7x in the Reunion Island), Yoann Barelli (3rd in 2015), Alex et Denny Lupato (italians top pilotes), Guillaume Heinrich – Bosch (Méga E-Bike 2016 winner)
What do you like about MTB ?
Rémy Absalon : What I like the most is that I really take pleasure everytime I ride my bike. Always trying to find a maximum of downhils for a maximum of sensations. While I am riding my bike I can also travel and discover dream spot and landscapes
Yoann Barelli: Being outside, discovering new places, riding with my friends and having a blast all the time I’m riding.
Alex Lupato : I love ride my bike into the nature and the adrenaline when I go fast in the trails.
Denny Lupato : I like the possibility to find new place and new amazing trails.
Guillaume Heinrich: I like to ride wild spaces, speed sensation, and share good moments.
Where are your favorite spots to ride your MTB ?
Rémy Absalon : It’s hard to say, there is so much on our lovely planet. But I would say the Vosges for sure ( I’m chauvinistic) and I also like the north west of the US ( Oregon, Whashington).
Yoann Barelli: Everywhere really. The entire world is full of amazing spots.
Alex Lupato : My favorite spot is North Vancouver… the trails are amazing !
Denny Lupato : I love my home trails, the great trails in Ireland and also the big descent of La Thuile.
Guillaume Heinrich: Close to my place in Alsace (north-east of France) and british columbia.
What’s your best (or worst !) anecdote on the Méga ?
Rémy Absalon : On the Mega there is so many anecdote. I had a period when I never succeed to be at the bottom without breaking everything. I had a beautiful OTB, at 10 meters after the start. When that happens, you have to move very quickly if you don’t want to be crushed by 300 crasy riders!
Yoann Barelli: I have a few, it will take a long time to tell all the stories I’ve had at the mega hahahaha !!! Breaking bikes or myself, I’m always back, this event is awesome.
Alex Lupato : Actually I never passed the glacier without crash or troubles with my bike.
Denny Lupato : It’s my first time at the Méga…I will tell you after the race ;-)
Guillaume Heinrich: I remember when I broke my shifter cable on the glaciar (without much snow on it this year) and do all the race on the 36 x 11.
How do you feel just before the start, on the glacier ? Are you afraid ? ;)
Rémy Absalon : I tell you the truth, I’m always scared about this start on the glaciar. Evertytime I’m up there I tell myself : this is the last time i’ll ever do this. But every year, when I’m at the finish line, I tell myself OK !! Let’s do it again next year !
Yoann Barelli: I shit my pants, like everyone else hahahaha
Alex Lupato : Yes, I’m afraid but it’s always amazing to be there when the « Alarma » start !
Denny Lupato : I really like the mass start (I have an XC background) so I can’t wait to be there !
Guillaume Heinrich: Few years ago I was scared, today I got used to, but I keep in mind that you win the race on the first minute. So on the glacier it’s full gaz.
Do you have any tips for the guys racing the Mega for the first time this year ?
Rémy Absalon : Don’t put you too much objectives. It is random, hard, everything can happen so try to arrive at the bottom first and enjoy this mega big downhill.
Yoann Barelli: Wear diapers !!!! 😉
Alex Lupato : Don’t go in hurry because itìs a long descent.
Denny Lupato : Unfortunately I haven’t but if someone has some tips to give it to me it would be great ;-)
Guillaume Heinrich: You have to be carefull on the first part of the race and the qualification. Do not follow the others and find your own line. If you fall hold your bike !
What do you prefer on the Mega ?
Rémy Absalon : You have so many different terrain, in 1 hour ride you can cross snow, rocks, mud, and crazy singles on the wood.
Yoann Barelli: The fact that I’m riding a full week with my friends, and having fun all the time. This event is great for that. I like the crazy side of it too, this is what makes it so unique.
Alex Lupato : I like the mass start !
Denny Lupato : I like the mass start and the body to body.
Guillaume Heinrich: This is the reference mythic mass start race, with adrenaline at the start everything can happen. You have to be strong but also clever and be lucky.
From your point of view, what makes the success of the Méga ?
Rémy Absalon : This race is just crazy !
Yoann Barelli: It’s because of The glacier for sure, every one (mtbiker), in the entire world knows the glacier of the mega. For most of people it’s the scariest thing ever, but everyone wants to do it !
Alex Lupato : It’s the most incredible race from the begin to the end with such a different kind of trails.
Denny Lupato : It’s a strange, long and amazing race with a lot of great riders…these are the ingredients for the success.
Guillaume Heinrich: The format of the race have crossed generation and give you the same sensation for more than 20 years.
So what’s next ? When do you register for the Maxiavalanche ?
Rémy Absalon : Every year I take a look to the UCC calendar because I want to come back, it’s just too good Vallnord, Cervinia… But this year again my calendar doesn’t match.
Yoann Barelli: I’ve done a few, and they are amazing as well. I’ll do more in the future !!
Alex Lupato : First I would like to finish the Mega and after we will see !
Denny Lupato : After the victory in Cervinia in 2015 I would like to participate at some Maxi…but first of all I want to focused on the Méga !
Guillaume Heinrich: I already have done them several times, and I keep really good memories of it. But today with the familial and professional life it is getting harder.+ d’info sur les maxi
Stay tuned for more interviews to come ! Josh Bryceland, Sam Hill, Cédric Gracia, etc… A lot of crazy good riders will be attending this Mégavalanche 2017 !