Video of the Week: Hellish Bike Race Down French Alpine Glacier

British online publication SPORTbible posted a video on their twitter handle this week profiling the mad “Mountain of Hell” bike race—a yearly competition where hundreds of mountain bikers careen 8200 feet down a glacier at Les Deux Alpes ski resort in France. The video includes shots of this year’s race, which resulted in a terrifying pileup just minutes after the start.

The glacier at Les Deux Alpes is the largest skiable glacier in the world and rests atop peaks in the Ecrins mountain range of the French Alps. The “Mountain of Hell” race occurs in summer when the snowpack is diminished, but—as is evidenced by the video—also very slick. This makes stopping impossible and any slight squeeze of the brakes, or nervous jiggle of the handlebars, quickly ends in disaster with both bikes and bikers flying end over end in a heap of metal and humanity. 

The winner of this year’s race was French professional biker Kilian Bron who avoided the icy pandemonium by getting out in front of the 700 other competitors and remaining there the whole way. He finished the 15.5 mile controlled fall down the ice in 31 minutes. 

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