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What's on in Alpe d'Huez summer 2019

Winter is over but there’s plenty going on in summer

Featured in: | Rob Wood, Alpe d'Huez Reporter | Published
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This most fabulous of ski seasons may be drawing to a close, but that doesn’t mean that nothing is happening in resort. Far from it as this summer sees a whole host of events taking place, including the ever popular Megavalanche.

Here’s our guide to the main events in resort this summer:

The Megavalanche MTB event - July 6th to 14th

Having started back in 1995 the Megavalanche is now one of the real highlights on the downhill mountain biking calendar, and is not to be missed.  For the uninitiated, it’s a no holds barred mass start downhill race from the snow up at 3300m all the way down to the pastures of Allemont some 2600m 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, and the series runs from the June 16th through until the September 15th.  Last years’ winner Damien Oton (France) will no doubt be looking for another success after his impressive victory in a time of 38min 55 last July.

The Mega regularly attracts around 1500 competitors from over 20 countries, and four days of intense practice are followed by three days of high-speed downhill action with over 4000m of descending across the different races. It’s not all about the daytime action though, Mega Week is as lively as any week in winter, and the night time action is just as intense as the daytime.

The Marmotte Cyclo Sportive - July 7th

This is no ordinary sportive, this one takes in some of the most famous and gruelling climbs that regularly form parts of the Tour de France route. The event starts early in the morning in Bourg d’Oisans and the long route of some 174km takes in the Col du Glandon, a long gradual never-ending leg breaker. Then the Col du Telegraphe before the epic Col du Galibier, often the highest pass on the Tour route at 2645m, before the final climb up the much-fabled 21 hairpin bends to Alpe d’Huez. This really isn’t for the faint-hearted.

The Alpe d’Huzes Challenge - June 6th

A Dutch charitable initiative that sees riders tackle the 21 bends as many times as they can in one day, with the aim of achieving six ascents (“zes” is Dutch for the number 6) – they must be mad. But it’s all for a very cause with in excess of €150 million raised to date, it’s on a par with Sport Relief in the UK and has been running since 2006.

Haute Route Alpe d’Huez - July 12th to 14th

The hugely popular haute route series of cycle events returns to resort this summer, and takes in the three different ascents up to Alpe d’Huez from Bourg d’Oisans. The first day sees riders cover 123km of cycling, including two ascents of the Croix de la Fer, before climbing to resort via Villard Reculas across the stunning vistas of the Pas de la Confession. The second stage is a 70km loop from Bourg d’Oisans taking in the climb to Les Deux Alpes before coming up to resort via the Col de Sarenne, as used in the famous double d’Huez day in the 2013 Tour de France. It’s a gruelling near 20km long climb from the valley floor up to the altiport area in resort. The final stage is a straight up 15.5km time trial from Bourg d’Oisans up the 21 bends to resort. For the less hardy of you out there, new for this year is the compact, a slightly shorter version comprising 92km, 50km and 15.5km stages.

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Alpe d’Huez Triathlon - July 23rd to 26th

Again, something not for the faint-hearted. The different events see competitors swim in the wonderful clear waters of Lac du Verney before riding up to, and running around resort and the lower slopes to complete this most gruelling of high altitude events. The event starts with a duathlon on Tuesday July 23rd, then the children's triathlon (all held in resort using the swimming pool) on Wednesday 24th. Then it’s the main long distance triathlon on Thursday 25th, before the shorter distance triathlon on Friday 26th.

More inspiration...

Don’t forget that every week in the summer features a timed climb of the 21 bends from Bourg d’Oisans, and also a nine hole golf competition at the golf course up by the altiport. There really are some great events happening this summer in resort, so make sure you don’t miss out.

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