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Racing a mountain bike down a glacier is total carnage

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A fire pit. A bed of nails. A glacier. 

None of these are suitable surfaces over which a right-minded cyclist would ride their bike - yet the latter is the preferred terrain for the Megavalanche contest.

Located in the ski runs of Alpe-d’Huez in the French Alps, the mountain bike racers move in once the leisure-friendly snow has melted away. With over 200 riders competing in any single event, it's a simple case of "first to the bottom wins".

The footage below tracks the progress of one Jamie Nicoll as he plunges down the 30km track at speeds of up to 30 mph. The track is littered with rocks, ice, riders and lost bikes, along a route that runs perilously close to the edge of mountainous drops. Despite taking a few tumbles, Nicoll eventually finished seventh. 

Prepare for the most tense two-and-a-half minutes of your day.

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