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Derby de la Meije - 20th edition

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
This year is the 20th birthday of the ultimate chinese DH (are you listening Yuki and Richie ?) : The derby de la Meije, in La Grave.

http://www.derbydelameije.com/?pg=pr...en&lng=en&im=4
The Principal of the Derby:
Start at ‘Dôme de la Lauze’ at 3 550 metres to reach the finish line as fast as possible on skis, snowboard, monoski, telemarks or any other controllable snow going device (like snowscooter, snowskates, sledges…).
No gates, no groomed slopes, no restrictions except for a few too dangerous lines down the wild terrain of La Grave. With about 2 150 vertical metres of vertical drop in the wilderness of the Meije mountain range, this race is truly unforgettable.

The Start : 10 racers from all disciplines set off together every minute. .
The Teams:
Each team consists of 3 people, with at least one woman, and all three competing in different disciplines (ski, snowboard, telemark or monoski). Each racer should also be registered individually in his/her respective category. The team’s time is calculated by adding up the individual time of each racer.

Ranking :
All race participants will have their times calculated and ranked, either individually or as a team. In each discipline, individual results will be given for men and women. One of the race’s stranger traditions is that many racers shoot off in fancy dress. The mix of crazy costumes and proper downhill suits on the mountain contribute to the unique image of the Derby de la Meije.

A unique blend of serious competition (Olivier Meynet is last year winner, in around 5 minutes I think. That's more than quick), complete wackyness and great grass roots spirit. 800 racers from all over the world.

Check it out, next time you'll visit the alps in april...


(one of the many home made clips of the event)
post #2 of 13
Great event started by an old friend Didi Haase- wish we could do this in the states- imagine the liability!
post #3 of 13
I was in Les Deux Alpes in summer of '01. It's "up the road" from La Grave. We had an Italian Coach, ex world cup downhiller. Now it takes a lot to impress those guys. I remember him telling us about that race and he was just shaking his head in amazement at what the top finishers do.

That clip does not do that place justice. Really, it's an amazingly beautiful place as is that whole area. We went rafting in the river there. If you're into extreme type skiing well this can be the place.

Let's not forget Doug Coombs died there when he slipped over the edge of a cliff trying see his friend who had just slipped over. Tragic.
post #4 of 13
2,150 meters in five minutes??? ::: Did the guy bother to turn even once? I can't even fathom how fast he must have been going to do that! That, or do some serious cliff hucking along the way.
post #5 of 13
Viva la France!

I challenge you, PhilippeR, to a ski off.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
Game on !
Just name where and when.
Being the defender, the choice of weapons is mine.

Hmm, decisions, decisions...








post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post
2,150 meters in five minutes??? ::: Did the guy bother to turn even once? I can't even fathom how fast he must have been going to do that! That, or do some serious cliff hucking along the way.
yeah that's amazing. I seem to remember the time quoted in '01 as like 6 or 7 minutes and that was astounding.
That video makes La Grave look a bit like well, Killington, VT USA.
I can assure you that's not the case.

By the way, what's up with the French and monoskis? Are they still popular? (er..and -why- are they popular?
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post
yeah that's amazing. I seem to remember the time quoted in '01 as like 6 or 7 minutes and that was astounding.
That video makes La Grave look a bit like well, Killington, VT USA.
I can assure you that's not the case.

By the way, what's up with the French and monoskis? Are they still popular? (er..and -why- are they popular?
No, there're not. Snowboard killed the mono in France too, as a mainstream tool.
But there's still a cult following.



http://www.tkbfilms.com/film-e-viva-mono.html


And a mono category at the derby...
post #9 of 13
There's some amazing arm flailing it those shots..
I think fat skis really killed the monoboards. I mean why bother?

Anyway, Phillippe since you probably speak French...could you have a look at this video of next years Atomic variable sidecut ski? There's a rep from Atomic speaking in French describing the ski. Perhaps you could translate what he's saying about that ski?
video is here, have to go ffwd to roughly 10:40 on clip
http://www.zapiks.fr/ispo-2008-jour-3.html

I don't want to hijack this thread, discussion is over there:
"Bring Back Straight Skis"
http://forums.epicski.com/showthread...=33958&page=10
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Sorry for the belated response.
He's talking of the vario-cut, that's added to the vario-flex (the "plaque" on the top sheet. Actualy an elastomer which increase the stiffness as the ski is bent).
The vario-cut is compared to car's electronic assistances, like ESP, or 4wd. It's aimed at intermediate or beginner skiers, who don't have "the perfect technique", to initiate their carved turns. The ski is said to carve for them.
The tip and tail spread out when pressured, like a fan. The radius range goes from 18 to 12 m.
He insisted that it's an automatic process (both the vario-flex and the vario-cut), unlike Volkl variable flex system I guess...
post #11 of 13
phillippe,
Have you seen Steep ? There's some footage and talk of La Grave. Mostly the town actually and Doug Coomb's with his young son. (It's probably good there's not many shots of the mountain or too many people would go there)
Coomb's does discuss why he went there and stayed. The interview was filmed a few weeks before he was killed there.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Steep has not been distributed on theatres here. Considering the very limited release in the US, I think I'll have to buy the DVD. Which I'll definitely do.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Results and vid on SkiPass.
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