The Mountain of Hell is an enduro freeride event in the resort town of Les 2 Alpes, in the northern French Alps. The 2014 edition, the 15th, is due to take place from 18th to 20th July – the first day is set aside for the riders’ inspection of the course, followed on day two by qualifications to decide the starting grid in the race itself, before the race on the final day.
The number of competitors allowed to take part is limited to 700, competing in seven categories – Women, Juniors (15 to 18 years old), Men (19 to 29), Masters 1 (30 to 39), Masters 2 (40 to 49), Masters 3 (50 and above) and Scratch. The best-placed amateur is awarded the ‘Golden Bike’ – a factory contract for the coming season.
The course starts from the glacier of Les 2 Alpes, and descends 2,600 m over 20 km of brutal tracks and climbs featuring snow, ice, shingle, rocks and camber, before reaching the finish line in Venosc. The route is marked out by gates, arrows on the ground and barriers marked with arrows, and it is compulsory to ride within the trails – all cutting is sanctioned with a variety of penalties.
The men’s race in 2013 was won by 35-year-old Kiwi privateer Jamie Nicoll, with GT Factory Racing riders Martin Maes and Dan Atherton finishing second and third respectively. The scratch women’s champion was Isabeau Coudurier, finishing a long way ahead of Pauline Petit and GT Factory Racing’s Fanny Amann.