The mountain bike race courses down an 11,000-foot tall glacier in the French Alps

By Matt McNulty
July 03, 2019 10:43 AM
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Racing mountain bikes down an 11,000-foot tall Alpine glacier is apparently as dangerous as it sounds, as participants in this year’s “Mountain of Hell” race found out over the weekend.

The annual race, which takes place at the Les Deux Alpes ski resort in France, started without issue but quickly turned into chaos after a crash between two cyclists caused a massive pileup with dozens of riders slamming into each other just minutes after the race began, according to Sports Illustrated.

In the incident that was captured on several different bike and helmet-mounted cameras, one of the cyclists can be seen clipping the rear tire of a rider in front of them, which set off the chain reaction.

Fortunately, none of the race participants were seriously injured, according to British bicycling website Bikesy.

Cyclist Kilian Bron ultimately won the race despite the crash. Bron, of France, told members of the French press, according to Bikesy, that he reached speeds of 78 mph during the downhill glacier course.

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“It was about 125 km/h (78 mph) on the glacier, there were 1000 people around me,” Bron said. “You had to be in it, no choice. [There is] much anticipation and [you cannot] let yourself run on adrenaline, you have to reason, to do things intelligently to finish in front.”

The “Mountain of Hell” event takes place every year at the end of June, spanning over 15 miles with race organizers changing the route annually, according to Bikesy.