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SHREDLY Adventures: Astrid races the 2023 Megavalanche in l’Alpe d’Huez, France

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At the beginning of July 2023, I found myself at Megavalanche in l’Alpe d’Huez, France, because my partner and a friend were super excited to go to this event. I was not at all convinced about racing since I was feeling nervous about the mass start format and the length of the race. Finally, out of curiosity, I convinced myself to go for it.

SHREDLY Crew Member Astrid races the 2023 Megavalanche in the mountains of l’Alpe d’Huez, France

My fitness was far from good, so I had to be careful with managing my energy during practice runs. The qualification track was different from the main Megavalanche track. The first thing we saw was a snow patch, which I was not expecting, and knew nothing about! My stress became motivation, I decided to be practical and have a beginner mindset, which worked perfectly. I started to accept my limits and to enjoy what I had in that moment. I was worried about the three small patches of snow in the qualification track, that is until I saw the main track for the Megavalanche. As it is known, (not by me at that moment!) the course starts on an iceberg! It was about 15 minutes of pure snow with a considerable slope. Crazy! The snow was for me the main issue, I didn’t know how to ride it, I didn’t know the secret was “not to ride it”…

 

I felt incredibly good in the qualification race because I hadn’t been competing in a long time, and the adrenaline and the emotion were fascinating. I qualified 19th, which put me in the front starting line.

SHREDLY Crew Member Astrid races the 2023 Megavalanche in the mountains of l’Alpe d’Huez, France

For the main event, I was really stressed out, but finally, I pulled myself together and my learning mindset was on. For the snow, my strategy was to ride like a strider and run as needed. When I was in the race, I saw the girls that were in front of me sitting on the snow beside their bike crossing their handlebar and sliding fast through the mountain: so much fun and very efficient! My strategy for the snow changed at that moment.

 

About my initial worries, my surprise was that I loved the mass start: the emotion of all the girls was contagious, it was almost euphoria.

 

I was used to racing downhill tracks three to five minutes long; my time in the Megavalanche race was 1h15! Much longer than what I am used to, but I was surprised to find out I enjoyed the long race, and to discover that I could endure the longest downhill races!

 

I finished 21st overall, which I am quite happy about, considering I was way out of my comfort zone and had not trained at all to prepare for this race!

 

Would you embark on a brand-new racing experience like I did? Or would you need to prepare thoroughly for it?

 

-Astrid, SHREDLY Crew Member

 

 

About Astrid

Astrid grew up in a town called Huehuetenango in Guatemala. This place is full of beautiful mountains. Her father inspired her with a passion for bicycles. Astrid has raced in cross country, enduro, and downhill races. Downhill is her main passion, which she discovered at almost 30 years old. She has attended two Pan American downhill championships, one in Peru and the other in Colombia. She also participated in Trans BC enduro in Canada.

 

Lately, she stopped competing due to the high demand between work and studying for a degree in clinical psychology. She is a food engineer and works at a family bakery. She still attends a few races now and then just for fun. The last one she did was the Megavalanche in Alpe d’Huez, France. She loves the sense of community and fun that comes with mtb, loves the feeling of being outdoors, and the learning that comes with mountain biking.


Follow Astrid's adventure at @astridsama

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