18th Derby de la Meije

derby de la meije

With the current excellent snow conditions at la Grave the 18th Derby de la Meije promises to be a vintage starting high on the Dôme de la Lauze and dropping 2150 meters to the Romanche river just below the village. True to its roots the Derby de la Meije gathers riders from all disciplines, monoski, ski, snowboard, telemark and anything else that can slide on snow for a three days of partying, music and competition. 

The competition is simple, there are not gates or track except for a few controls. Riders depart in groups of 10 and must all wear a helmet. The aim is to descend as fast as possible, or to wear the most outrageous fancy dress. The whole of the legendary la Grave ski domain can be used with a few exceptions such as the Trifides couloir complex.

The fastest riders will cover the 2100 meters in around 6 minutes at an average speed of some 70km/h. Last year’s event attracted 748 riders from 23 countries including 24 Brits, an American and Canadian. Despite the extreme slopes and speeds 715 of them made it to the finish. This edition will take place over the 4th to 7th of April in the shadow of the mythical peak of la Meije.

Further information: [url=http://www.derbydelameije.com]http://www.derbydelameije.com[/url]

Posted by davidof on Friday, 07 April, 2006 at 06:25 PM

18th Derby de la Meije Results

822 competitors took the starting line for the 18th Derby de la Meije in near perfect conditions. As usual the skiers took the laurels with Frenchman Raphael Ruffier-Lanche crossing the line first in 5m40.6 seconds. First woman was Giulia Monega from Italy also on skis in 07:23.8 placing 45th overall, the same as last year’s top woman Caroline Meynet who was not competing this year. Sebastien Mayer once again won the telemark category in a stunning 6m26.3 and first snowboarder Sebastien Noguere in 7m09.6

Giulia Monega

There were 26 monoskiers, all from France apart lone Swiss lady Patty Moll. Marc Bourdelle edge out last year’s winner Xavier Duret by 1.5 seconds with a time of 7m38.4. First non-French rider was German Tino Schiffer on skis with a time of 6m27.1 giving him 18th place.

In all 21 nations were represented in 6 different categories: Ski, Monoski, Telemark, Snowboard, Snowskate and Other. 837 riders left the starting gate in groups of 10 and 822 arrived at the finish some 2000 meters further down the mountain.

And they’re off!

23 riders from Australia, Canada, Britain, Ireland and the United States flew the flag for the Anglo/Celtic world. First American was skier Mike Preston in 44th place in a time of 7m23.6 and America’s first lady was Elizabeth Oakes in 10m01.5 for 228th place. First Brit was once again Richard Castle in 8m36.69 111st place overall (91st skier) with first Britgirl Lisa Cameron in 15m31 in 608th place. Relative newcomers to skiing Ireland were represented by Conor Murphy putting up a very respectable 17m33.7 on snowboard for 689th place. Shaun MacLeod came in 288th for Canada in 10m30.7 on telemark skis and Australia’s top Sheila was Karin Tiefengraber in 11m15.2 followed by Michael Harriman in 13m38.

Posted by davidof on  Monday, 10 April, 2006  at 06:00 PM
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