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Downhill Race on a Glacier: in Case This Sport Wasn't Dangerous Enough Already

There are a lot of places with scary names, such as "hell", "devil", "widow-maker" and so on. Honestly, many of them are exaggerations from the people of yore, but some really deserve their name fully. And the Mountain of Hell is definitely one of the places in this last category.
Downhill the Les Deux Alpes glacier 6 photos
Downhill the Les Deux Alpes glacierDownhill the Les Deux Alpes glacier gets you naked spectatorsTaking a fall at the Mountain of HellDownhill the Mountain of Hell and crashing into a marshalStart grid ar the Les Deux Alpes glacier
The area we are talking about lies in south-eastern France, near the city of Grenoble, the Les Deux Alpes (obviously, French for "the Two Alps") is the scenic location of a very dangerous, but equally amazing downhill race.

We are talking about a three day downhill marathon that starts on the Les Deux Alpes glacier and involves a 2,500-meter (8,200 feet) height loss. The race course is around 25 km (15.5 miles) long, and this means around half an hour of pure, unadulterated madness.
An average speed of around 45 km/h down a savage mountain course
This year's best time belongs to New Zealander Jamie Nicoll, who crossed the finish line in one piece 33'07" after race start. The "in one piece part" is not a figure of speech. Watching the video after the jump will reveal that not even the winner is spared some hard falls.

We can assume that the riders who managed to finish this race only sustained bruises of various severity, but not all the were that lucky. If anything, the 190 abandons is a figure that speaks for itself, isn't it? The only rule for the downhillers is that they must pass through certain gates in they way to the bottom of the valley. Whether they decide to follow the trail or choose to cut through pastures, rocky steps or the forest it only up to them.
Naked people, running over marshals, and all may sound like phantasy, but the camera is the perfect witness
There are a lof of guys who like to "upgrade" the events when they tell the story of a crazy deed. However, thanks to the helmet-mounted action cameras, the guts needed to take part in such a race and the craziest moments during the downhill mayhem have a perfect witness.

In fact, this is exactly how Team UR, the one that has two riders on the podium in the 1st and third positions, describes the video: "You know as riders we all have heard about those post race stories from our friends like: "Dude, I crashed so hard, the crowd was naked, I've run over a marshal, etc".. And we are all like yeah yeah.. Thanks to helmet cams you can now see these stories are real!"

The whole race was summarized in a mind-boggling short video that's more intense than almost anything we saw this year, possibly ecxluding Robbie Maddison's stellar feat with him riding a KTM on a wave.



 
 
 
 
 

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