Four months after his win in Alpe d'Huez, Rémy Absalon claimed his 10th Megavalanche victory in Saint Paul.
Rémy Absalon celebrated in a beautiful way the 20th birthday of the Reunion Island Megavalanche taking the first place this Sunday.
Since its inception in 1995 on the "Intense island", Megavalanche has remained one of the most famous MTB downhill marathon style races and Rémy is one of its regular pro riders with 6 victories.
This year again Megavalanche played host to many pro riders including Thomas Lapeyrie (Sunn), Alex Cure (Rocky Mountain), Théo Galy (Devinci), Cédric Gracia (Santa Cruz) and many other local riders including Christophe Payet (Scott), Alexandre Sicard (Devinci) and Timothé Neytard (Trek).
The qualifying rounds took place on Saturday afternoon. This year the riders returned to basics with mass start qualifying groups in order to decide their Sunday gridding. In the first group, Rémy fought with Christophe Payet but finally crossed the line in first position. He would be on the front row for Sunday.
The famous Reunion Island Megavalanche started this Sunday from the top of the Maïdo - culminating at 2205m - with 300 crazy riders ready to fight all the way to the Indian Ocean. Rémy didn't start very well, dropping back to around 7th position but rode full throttle on the fast rocky lava to catch each rider. He finally passed Cédric Gracia and Alexandre Sicard who were leading. Cédric Gracia couldn't fight any longer because of a flat tire and Rémy kept going to open up a 15 second gap in the technical wet jungle. He maintained his advantage into the sugar cane fields. After the last stony and dry trail of the seaside, all under intense heat, Rémy crossed the line with another Megavalanche victory in 44'06.
"It was a bit unexpected after a long rest period but I gave everything to take the lead. This race is so hard but I am very happy to take the 2015 double Mega victory at the end."
Rémy Absalon, SCOTT SR Suntour Enduro Team
Photos by Paul Humbert - Vojo Magazine