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Megavalanche 2019 bookings

The biggest mountain bike race in Alpe d'Huez

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| Rob Wood, Alpe d'Huez Reporter | Published
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Summer in Alpe d’Huez is all about the 'Mega' which, in 2019, runs between July 8th and 14th. Thousands of intrepid, downhill mountain biking, adrenaline junkies will make their annual pilgrimage to resort.

Having started back in 1995, the Megavalanche is now one of the real highlights on the downhill mountain biking calendar. For the uninitiated, it’s a no-holds-barred, mass-start, downhill race from the snow-capped peaks up at 3300 metres all the way to the pastures of Allemont, some 2600 metres lower down, making it the longest and wildest downhill marathon in the world.

The Mega forms part of the European Mass Start Series which involves other events at Vallnord, Cervinia, Meribel and Ax-3-Domaines, running from June 16th until September 15th.  Last year's winner Damien Oton (France) will no doubt be looking for another success after his impressive victory in a time of 38m55s last July.

Registration for the Mega opened back on December 10th but it’s not too late to enter this year's event. Here’s our guide to all you need to know.

How to get there

Flying is the quickest way to get to Alpe d'Huez. The closest airport is Grenoble but it doesn't offer flights in the summer. Geneva, around a three-hour drive from resort, and Lyon, two hours, are your best options. With numerous international, European and local French flights landing there every day, you would be hard pushed not to find a convenient flight to suit your needs (have a look at our flight finder to find the right one for you).

Once there, the most popular way to get to Alpe d'Huez is to book an airport transfer as they offer door to door services at any time of day (or night). Most transfers for this particular resort are offered on a private basis and should be booked in advance. There are also regular buses from Lyon and Geneva airport to Grenoble, from where you can book a transfer or take another bus into resort.

Finally, there's the option of boarding a train from Lyon or Paris to Grenoble Gare SNCF, from where you can then book a transfer or bus to Alpe d'Huez.

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How to Get to Alpe d'Huez | Guide to the Quickest, Easiest & Cheapest Options

Where to stay

A luxury four-star hotel with spa, a gorgeous catered chalet at the foot of the bike trails or a comfortable self-catered apartment with views – Alpe d'Huez offers all sorts of accommodation options, suitable for all budgets. You can also choose to be bang in the middle of the action, in the heart of Alpe d'Huez, or away from the hustle and bustle in the quieter villages of Oz, Auris or Huez.

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Where to Stay in Alpe d'Huez

How to sign up

Registration is available online. In addition to the Megavalanche Classic itself, this year there is also the e-Megavalanche which includes a climb and is aimed at the ever-growing number of electric bike riders. For the young guns, there is always the Mega Kid, open to riders aged between 9 and 14. If you book for the Classic or the e-Mega between now and May 22nd, it will cost you €70, rising to €75 after that, while the Mega Kid costs €19 between now and May 22nd and then goes up to €24. In addition to your race entry, you'll get your frame plate and number, disposable timing chip, live timings/results, your certificate, use of the assistance/technical area, feed station on Friday, aperitif drink on Thursday and Friday, lunch on Saturday or Sunday at the finish, and a photo at the finish as well.

You'll also need a lift pass. The Mega runs from the top of the Pic Blanc, at 3300 metres, so you'll need to use the DMC lift to get up there with your bike. There are several options available for lift passes depending on how long you're planning to stay in Alpe d'Huez for. An adult four to five-day lift pass costs €37, while a six to seven-day pass costs €47 and the full eight to nine-day lift pass will set you back €51. For the younger riders doing the Mega Kid, a seven-day pass only costs €18. Souvenirs and mementos will also be available, including jerseys (€39), t-shirts (€19) and sweatshirts (€45).

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What to watch

Lift passes start on Saturday, July 6th while the event itself kicks off on Monday, July 8th with practice runs and preparations. The first competition takes place on Wednesday, July 10th, the Enduro Oz which sees riders tackle the trails around the neighbouring village of Oz-en-Oisans – entry costs €20 including a BBQ afterward. On Friday 12th it’s the turn of the young guns to race from the Dome-des-Rousses, as well as the e-Mega prologue with a climb around Alpe d’Huez before the mass-start ebike race from the glacier on Saturday 13th. The main event, the Classic Megavalanche, takes place on Sunday, July 14th with qualifying for grid positions taking place on Friday 12th from 10:00.

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Where to eat

Whether you're there to participate in the event, just to watch or to soak in the atmosphere while this huge race takes place, you'll find that Alpe d'Huez has a great range of restaurants. From traditional local cuisine like Le Passe MontagneAu Montagnard or the aptly named La Fondue en Folie to fine dining at the Chamois d'Or, bistro-style French food at Au Grenier, pub grub at Smithy's Tavern, perfect pizza at Pinocchio or Asian favourites at Baan Thai takeaway. Some of the mountain restaurants will also be open – - accessible on a bike or on foot (or just by lift), they offer the best views in resort with sun-drenched panoramic terraces overlooking the surrounding peaks.

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Where to Eat in Alpe d'Huez

More inspiration...

There are lots of things to do in Alpe d'Huez in the summer, including cycling, hiking and mountaineering so you can keep active when you get off your bike.

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Activities in Alpe d'Huez