Liv Racing enduro pro Rae Morrison made the short drive from the last Enduro World Series round in Les Orres, France to Alpe d’Huez for a different type of gravity race: Megavalanche. After securing the win during the 19-minute qualifying race Friday in a dramatic sprint finish, Morrison finished Saturday’s 48-minute final in second place.
year riders from around the world have traveled to race their bikes from “Pic Blanc” to the finish line in Allemont, 2600m down the mountain. Different from all other downhill and enduro races, Megavalanche begins with a mass start at 3330m above sea level on a snow-covered glacier. Racers must jockey for position on the slippery snow before reaching dirt, where they will continue to battle on loose, rocky and technical downhill trails for nearly 50 minutes. The mixture of snow, technical terrain, and length of this race make it one of the most difficult and famous gravity races in the world.
In 2015, Morrison finished third at this same event with a time of 52 minutes. This year, she set her sights higher aboard her Hail Advanced, which she set up with wider handlebars, softer grips and plusher suspension settings to provide a more stable and comfortable ride over distance. Off the mass start Morrison shot to the front of the pack, earning the holeshot ahead of 44 other women as she blasted down the snow-covered mountain. Her fearless start gained a large gap on the rest of the field, but also lead to a couple crashes which allowed fellow EWS racer Morgane Such room to pass. Not far behind, Morrison and Ines Thoma caught and passed Such, holding their lead over the field to finish second and first, respectively. Morrison’s time after over 20km of racing was just under 48 minutes.
In less than a month, Morrison will take on the next EWS race in Whistler, Canada, kicking off the Crankworx event.