A group of wounded, injured and sick veterans from the British armed forces is hoping to become the first ever disabled team to tackle the fearsome Megavalanche.
Megavalanche is a mass start downhill race at the Alpe D’Huez that sees 1,400 participants fly down a glacier before juking it out on Alpine singletrack. It has a reputation for being one of the toughest races in the world due to the unforgiving terrain and unpredictable nature of other participants.
Watch the chaotic start to a Megavalanche race here
The team, that has a wide range of injuries including leg and arm amputations, traumatic brain injuries, PTSD and anger problems, will tackle the route on specially adapted bikes and be supported by Help for Heroes.
The team will be led by Colour Sergeant Roger Coates. He said: “While most people take part in the race as individuals, we will make sure our group works as a team so as to help each other out. To avoid injury, we won’t be taking part in the infamous mass start but will hold back so as to ensure the safety of our riders at all times.”
There are currently 15 servicemen training for the event with the team to be cut down to eight for the event itself. Two training weekends in preparation for the epic event in July have already been held in Hamsterley Forest, County Durham, and Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire, supported by Help for Heroes. The next weekend in March will take place in Grizedale Forest in the Lake District.
Coates said: “Having personally entered the event twice before, I have a clear understanding of the training, equipment, commitment and motivation needed to take part in a mountain bike race such as Megavalanche.
“For our guys, it will be a huge commitment to train if they want to make the final team.”
The Megavalanche takes place this year on July 4-10, we wish Coates and his team the best of luck.