The 'Mountain of Hell' sees hundreds of bikers crash down icy cliff
The annual Mountain of Hell bike race was held Sunday on a glacier at the Les Deux Alpes ski resort in France. The start of the contest has all the participants racing their bikes down the mountain on the giant sheet of ice. When one of bikers careens out of control, it sets off a giant chain reaction resulting in bikes and riders piling up at the bottom of the hill. The result looks like a group of ants gathering for a morsel of food.
This year's Mountain of Hell downhill mountain bike competition truly lived up to its name, as hundreds of riders crashed on a horribly steep drop in France's Les Deux Alpes ski resort to create a horrific pile up. The fortitude mountain bike ride, this year held over June 28-30, saw around 700 riders route dizzying descents down icy cliffs and through rock and dirt, with a total vertical drop of 2500 meters. The riders were competing on the final lap of the annual race, a 25 km leg beginning 3400 meters above sea level at the top of a glacier - and that's when all hell broke loose.
During the descent, a couple of riders at the front of the pack slid down the glacier and began to wobble, then began to lose their balance, and then ultimately sprawled helplessly onto the snowy surface. Departure from the glacier at 3400 meters and then it’s downhill in the snow up to 900 meter that’s an unbelievable 2500 meters of altitude difference. With 700 riders set to hurtle down the mountain it’s like the starting blocks of the 24 hours of Le Mans. As they flailed on the mountain face, riders behind them found they unable to avoid those lay stricken on the ice causing them to also crash, triggering chaos. Helpless riders crashed into each other creating an orgy of mashed metal and bodies hurtling down the cliff. One rider's helmet cam footage captured the moment he was sent headfirst into the snow.
One more rider was flipped into the air and landed on his head and lots could be seen smashing into each other, but amazingly no one was extremely hurt in the crash. The ultimate winner was Frenchman Kilian Bron, who after the crash tolerated a grueling uphill twist to the city of Venosc in Southern France to win the Mountain of Hell 2019 label. It can be said more or less without any irony that Bron truly went to hell and back to win the first prize.