July 14, 2014
The 2014 Mega took place at the weekend. Dubbed the hardest enduro races in the world the mega normally attracts the worlds fastest racers. However this year EWS round 4 in La Thuille, Italy took place on the same weekend so the field was open for some new faces to take the mega crown.
Want to see how grim the conditions were?
Megavalanche 2014 Fails Training Qualification
Here’s Commencal’s story from the weekend…
For its 20th birthday,the Alpe d’Huez MEGAVALANCHE wasn’t spared by the weather: Rain, every day, and even fresh snow on the peaks. It’s not for nothing that COMMENCAL wanted to be the Alpe d’Huez MEGAVALANCHE partner. “There is a bit of a Dakar and unknown in the air with this race, I really love it” said Max COMMENCAL. A start on the glacier du Pic Blanc. A finish line in the Oisans Valley in Allemont. And between? A whole world… Stressful, emotional, and crazy. A real mess for the organization team. A huge challenge for the racers. The race was expected to be hard. Difficult physically, technically, and tactically.
Today, the victory wasn’t far away for COMMENCAL. Nico QUERE, who started on the 3rd line, was 1st at the end of the glacier. A great success when you know how hard this section is. But things start to get tricky in the middle of the race. He got a flat when hitting on Oz en Oisans, but kept on fighting for the podium until the very end. The last part of the race, in the woods, was a real quagmire. There was only mud and it stuck terribly. It clogged up the wheels and made that section almost impossible. But the COMMENCAL crew played it fine.
For this little story, Thibaut RUFFIN, our downhiller, had ridden this section the day before. Doing this race for the first time,he had found that there is a technical thing to do: “The wheels were stoping because of the mud, it was impossible to ride. So I called my dad who ran to bring me mud tyres… In 26”. So, following his good idea, the whole team switched to 26″ wheels: Nico QUERE, his friend Pierre-Charles GEORGES, all staying at the COMMENCAL chalet this week, and himself. The objective? Keep the tyres clear of mud… And not staying glued to the ground. The team worked hard in the evening. But went to bed confident.
It’s with his META AM 650b that Thibaut took the start, but equipped with 26″ wheels, and beside, Nico QUERE meeting with his first love again: the META SX: This material choice helped our racers to reach the finish line without any mud issues. In the top 15 at half way, Thibaut RUFFIN then passed all the competitors until reaching 2nd position. “I didn’t think I could do it. It was amazing. The first part of the race was crazy. It was physically super hard. But at the end, in the mud, it was definitely fun”. Our racer kept his smile because his friend Pierre-Charles George won the race.
Finally, despite his flat tyre, Nico Quere managed to stay on the podium: “I’m really happy to have been first out of the glacier. I really love that section. I was unlucky with my flat tyre, I was expecting to come first..” Disappointed, of course. But his race proved that he is able to win… Next time. Anyway, at COMMENCAL, we keep believing in him. Like in this crazy race.
That’s it then Megavalanche 2014 is done and dusted, conditions were far from ideal and made every minute of the demanding track 10x as hard. Pierre-Charles George came out on top pipping Ruffin who finished second, finishing off the podium Boe Reon. Congratulations to fastest Brit Martyn Brookes who finished in 5th.