Aussie tackles Megavalanche madness

There's a posse of young Aussie and New Zealand riders who are currently living the mountain bike dream in Europe, living hand to mouth as they traipse the length and breadth of Europe in search of the next race or big mountain.

screener-51.png

One such rider is Ben Forbes, a Brisbane-based skills coach who's on the road in a stickered-up van, chasing both the Enduro World Series, Crankworx and other one-off races.

screener-71.png

Pics: Ben Forbes

One such race is the insane annual free-for-all known as the Megavalanche. A 37km race that drops 2700m down France's fearsome Alpe D'Huez (bear in mind Mt Kosciuszko is 2228m tall), the Megavlanche attracts thrillseeking racers from across the planet every year, with 2700 riders from 45 countries taking part in 2018.

It's freakin' pandemonium. Riders pre-qualify, before setting off in waves of 400 down the hill. At the same time. There's snow, rocks, trees, dust, insanely high speeds and more to contend with over a race which can take up to an hour to complete.

screener-92.png

Ben's race started very poorly, crashing in the icy conditions hard enough to send goggles flying... and breaking off his front brake lever in the process. Do you think that was enough to make him give up? Not even...

screener-6.png

This is a longish vid, but it's worth watching all the way through. Well done Ben!

 

Bicycling Australia

"You can bring any bike .... So long as it's made from steel, has downtube shifters, and an '86 model or older." That was the general jist of the eighth annual Noosa Strada Bianche, an inspiring event held in the glorious environs on the weekend of August 11 & 12.

In this fascinating article Bicycling Australia contributor Stephanie Constand details the rise and rise of young German sprinter Pascal Ackermann ... a rider sure to be going shoulder to shoulder with Australia's Caleb Ewan over the next few years.

Now less than two weeks away, more than 1100 riders are expected on the start line of the Noosa Classic, Bicycling Australia's first Gran Fondo Cycling event for the Sunshine State of Queensland.