On 4 of July 2016, Team Megavalanche departed for Alpe D’Huez to once again compete in the world’s longest downhill mountain bike race. The team, consisting of serving Paratroopers, James Duncan, Robert Benson, Richard Dunne and Mark Turner spent the week practising and learning the 35km course along with thousands of competitors ranging from elite world champions to your average rider. The start line for the Megavalanche is the summit of Pic Blanc at an altitude of 3300m. It is a snow covered ski run for roughly the first 3km which turns into narrow rocky trails followed by twisty alpine forest single track eventually crossing the finish line in the town of Allemont.
Qualifying: The team lined up alongside 116 other riders for the mass start. With James having to pull out of a top 20 finish due to a puncture and Richard with a Mechanical issue it was left to Robert and Mark to cross the line and qualify for the Mega amateur race. Of the 189 riders Robert finished in a strong 57th place and Mark after suffering several mechanical problems in 170th place.
The team were overwhelmed with support from the crowds of people lining the course cheering on the Parachute Regiment with lots of positive comments and recognition for the cap badge. With mixed results from this years race, the Team is already looking forward to next year with the intention of growing bigger and better with experience,
As the saying goes…3rd time lucky !