Most people who read PisteHors have heard of the Derby de la Meije – a frenetic race down the slopes below the Mythic Meije mountain in the backcountry resort of La Grave but what exactly is a Derby? The term is usually applied to an open race. In skiing terms it is the antecedent of today’s Professional Freeride competitions, an event open to everyone whether they are on skis, snowboards, monoski, luge, pro or amateur.
In the past the riders would start together in a free for all and the first one across the line was the winner. For safety and organizational reasons some rules have been put in place and riders now start in groups with separate categories for each discipline. Pierrick Courtal, winner of the 2004 Derby de la Meije on snowboard has created a new competion. The Trophée des Derbys. First run in 2005 over 9 events (although three were cancelled) in resorts across the Alps, Jura and Pyrenees the Trophée it is back for a second year.
To compete in the 2006 Trophy you have to ride at least 5 of the 11 events. Point are awarded for the first nine places in each category (ski, snowboard, telemark, monoski, men’s and women’s events) and the best five results count towards the trophy with five bonus points for more than five races entered. The person gaining the most points wins the Trophy.
The provisional calendar is:
14/15th January: Derby du Soleil - Orcières-Merlette
21st January: Derby des Posettes – Vallorcine
27/29th January: Derby du Mont de la Guerre / Gorzderette - Champagny en Vanoise
4/5th February : Derby de Chavanette - Champéry (CH)
15th February: Derby Robert Blanc – Les Arcs
25th February: Derby de Morond – Métabief
4th March: Derby de la Toudray – Alpe du Grand Serre
19th March : Derby de St Sorlin d’Arves
25th March : Derby des Pyrenees – Piau Engaly
4/7th April : Derby de la Meije – La Grave
15/16th April : Derby du Pic Ombière - Chardonnet
Further Informaiton : http://www.assezdessais.com/