Feeling brave? Try the Glacier Bike Downhill Race.
On 8 March 2014, the Glacier Bike Downhill Race takes place in
Saas-Fee for the eleventh time. The race sees cyclists hurtle down
a course from the Mittelallalin to Saas-Fee, covering an altitude
difference of 1,700 metres. Most of the starting slots are already
“Pure adrenalin” is how participants describe the feeling of the Glacier Bike
Downhill Race, and on 8 March daredevil mountain bikers can achieve this
buzz for the eleventh time in Saas-Fee. The race begins with a so-called Le
Mans start, where cyclists sprint the first 100 metres to their stationary
bikes. From the 3,500-metre-high Mittelallalin, the athletes must then
master a challenging course with a 1,700-metre altitude difference before
crossing the finish line in Saas-Fee. The route is slippery, as it follows the
ski slopes leading down into the valley. But despite the snow and ice,
cyclists reach impressive speeds: last year’s winner completed the course in
less than eight minutes, reaching top speeds of up to 140 km per hour.
For safety reasons the race begins early in the morning, because it must be
over before the ski slopes open. Also for the safety of the participants, the
number of starting slots is limited to 300. The event is very popular among
downhill cyclists. Three quarters of the starting slots are already filled while
there are no more spaces for the training session on Friday. For many
athletes, this event is the highlight that kicks off their season.
On the day prior to the race, there are the training sessions, the course is
inspected, and starting numbers are issued. It is an early start on the
Saturday for the participants, who must set off at 7 a.m. to take the Alpin
Express and the Metro Alpin up to the Mittelallalin. Once they have arrived,
the cyclists can relax and enjoy the views until just before 8 a.m., when the
starting pistol is fired. Then the adrenalin starts pumping, and there’s no
more time to marvel at the panorama.
Interested athletes can register here.