Category Events
Maxiavalanche Andorra: A Guide for Racers and Spectators
If you love downhill mountain biking on an epic scale, then Maxiavalanche Vallnord is a great event to attend – as a racer or a spectator. This event is the first leg of five awesome stages that make up the European Mass-Start Series. In 2019 it will take place on the 15th and 16th of June, in the Vallnord Bike Park, right here in Andorra – the heart of the Pyrenees mountains!

Together with events in Alpe d’Huez, Cervinia, Meribel and AX 3 Domaines, the Andorran Maxiavalanche ranks the best downhill riders, placing the 100 fastest participants in the Mass-Start Championship.

Maxiavalanche Vallnord 2019 – Teaser

@Maxiavalanche #1 Vallnord – Andorra 2019 : Get yourself ready for a crazy riding and partying weekend! Come and enjoy the amazing Vallnord Bike Park, racing the #MAXIAVALANCHE and fancy the nice Andorran way of living ! ;)Maxiavalanche is simple: ride the track as much as you want friday and saturday morning (liftpass included), ride the qualifying run on saturday to get in your race group for the two race runs of sunday ! Oh, and don't forget to have looots of fun! :DLa Massana Visit Andorra Vallnord Pal Arinsal CamelBak SR Suntour Inc. ION bike Endurotribe Monkey's Sauce

Posted by Maxiavalanche on Wednesday, April 17, 2019

What Is Maxiavalanche?

Maxiavalanche Vallnord is an annual marathon downhill race. A shorter distance than the original Megavalanche, it takes place in one of the greatest bike parks in Europe, Vallnord, over 1000 and 1500-metre descents. Professional and amateur bike riders come together to participate in this crazy, popular event of mass-start mayhem, with a downhill course of epic proportions.

Every year, the race attracts fans from around the world and hosts both male and female participants of varying skill levels in different categories, including:

  • Elite
  • Challengers
  • Amateurs
  • E-Bike
  • Kids

The race begins at the peak of Cubil, the highest point in Vallnord, at 2,350 metres. Crossing the finish line takes you to the town of La Massana, at 1,300 metres – that’s a drastic descent of 1,050 metres from start to finish!

A Brief History of Maxiavalanche

Since 1995, the Alpe d’Huez Megavalanche has been a must-do event for riders from over 42 nations around the world. Almost 2,000 people take part in the race every year. Considered one of the longest downhill races in the world, it features a 20 km course with a 2,600-metre descent which begins at the top of the Pic Blanc glacier (3,000 metres).

In 2002, several shorter downhill marathon races were created, called the Maxiavalanche series. They follow the same mass start rules as Megavalanche, yet see racers compete over a shorter distance. For Maxiavalanche Vallnord, several hundred riders will barrel down from the top of Cubil, divvied up by groups of similar riding skill.

Getting bigger and better each year, riders are drawn to the awesome spirit of Maxiavalanche. The mass start sees tense but friendly banter as riders jostle their way to a favourable position. The carnage, mayhem and skills on display during the mass start make for great spectating!

The awesome atmosphere of the event doesn’t stop at the finish line, either. Riders share a drink after the race and carry the party on at the evening event.

2019 Dates of the Maxiavalanche and Megavalanche Races

The complete dates and locations for UCC Sport Event’s summer Mass-Start Series this year (not including qualifying run dates) are:

  • Vallnord, Andorra – June 16 (Maxiavalanche)
  • Alpe d’Huez, France – July 14 (Megavalanche)
  • Cervinia, Italy – July 28 (Maxiavalanche)
  • Meribel, France – August 25 (Maxiavalanche)
  • AX 3 Domaines, France – September 15 (Maxiavalanche)

The best 100 riders of each stage will score points for the European Mass-Start Series. They will have a chance at climbing the European Mass-Start Series Champion podium, winning the Champion jersey, and gaining a ticket for the Megavalanche Reunion Island 2019, plus the smaller prizes.

Racers looking focused during the Maxiavalanche Vallnord
Game face on! 100% concentration as riders break free from the mass start. Image: Vallnord

Information For Racers

We’ve summarised the key details about registration and the schedule for those of you who want to compete in Maxiavalanche Vallnord.

Registration Fees and Inclusions

Attending Maxiavalanche Vallnord costs 58€ for the weekend, or 39€ for a single day. With your registration fee, you will be given:

  • A stage T-shirt (for the first 100 registered riders only)
  • Access to both race days (or one, with the single day pass)
  • Lift pass for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
  • A disposable timing chip and live timing
  • A frame and back number
  • Access to the after party on Saturday evening, and the photo booth
  • Rescue services, if needed
  • A chance to win the prize money

When registering, riders are also given the option to purchase:

  • Multisport insurance at 4€/day
  • Cancellation insurance for 5€
  • Maxiavalanche jersey for 39€
  • Maxiavalanche hand protection for 39€
  • Pedestrian companion lift pass for 6€/day
  • Access to the sandwich menu: 9€ for a hot sandwich, French fries, and a drink

Schedule of Events

Maxiavalanche Vallnord begins with a qualifying run on Saturday, and has two races on Sunday, with a 10 km race that descends 1,000 metres, and a 15 km race that descends 1,500 metres. Once you’ve registered, the condensed version of the schedule of events for the weekend is as follows:

Friday: Practice Day

  • 9:00 am – 6:30 pm: Free practice runs with free access to the shuttle and lift with your race plates.

Saturday: Qualification and Seeding Race

  • 8:30 am – 12:30 pm: Official practices for riders with race plates.
  • 1:00 pm: 1st run for Mega Kids event (from Pic de Cubil).
  • 1:10 pm: 1st run for Mega Kids event (from Pla de la Cot).
  • 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm: 1st through 5th Maxiavalanche qualification runs.
  • 3:40 pm: 2nd run for Mega Kids event (from Pic de Cubil).
  • 3:50 pm: 2nd run for Mega Kids event (from Pla de la Cot).
  • 7:00 pm: Results of the qualification-seeding races.

Sunday: Europe Cup

  • 10:00 am: 1st round for Maxiavalanche Europe Cup.
  • 10:10 am: 1st round for e-Maxi (E-Bikes).
  • 10:15 am: 1st round for Maxiavalanche Challengers & Ladies.
  • 10:30 am: 1st round for Maxiavalanche Amateurs.
  • 2:00 pm: 2nd round for Maxiavalanche Europe Cup.
  • 2:10 pm: 2nd round for e-Maxi (E-Bikes).
  • 2:15 pm: 2nd round for Maxiavalanche Challengers & Ladies.
  • 2:30 pm: 2nd round for Maxiavalanche Amateurs.
  • 3:45 pm: Results and official ceremony.

For a complete list of the scheduling, go to the UCC Sport Event website.

An aerial view of the mass start for the Maxiavalanche Vallnord.
The mass start at Maxiavalanche Vallnord is quite the spectacle! Image: Vallnord

How to Best Enjoy Maxiavalanche

Whether you are a racer or a spectator, the Andorran Maxiavalanche at the Vallnord Bike Park is one of the most exciting, exhilarating biking events of the summer season.

The resort was chosen for its quality of slopes and tracks, its breathtaking scenery, and its spirit of friendly competition. It’s also the venue for big mountain biking events, such as the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, and the UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships.

Spectating Maxiavalanche Vallnord

If you want to catch the action of the mass start, you’ll need to catch the telecabina from La Massana up to La Caubella, or drive via the towns of Erts, Xixerella and Pal until you reach the car park near the ski station. From La Caubella you can hike the walking trail or pedal up to Pic de Cubil. For the enthusiasts, you also have the option to take an e-bike from La Massana all the way to the peak via a dedicated trail.

Popular viewing points that require less walking are situated around the wooden bridge that crosses riders over the road and connects them to the lower section of the course. Easily accessible, this area is a short, downhill walk from La Caubella.

Alternatively, you can catch the action of the finish line or walk alongside the trail up into the forest from there. From the telecabina building in La Massana, it is only a short walk through town to the finish line.

What’s Nearby

Vallnord offers numerous restaurants, terraces, and cafes for tourists to enjoy. Within the building positioned near the top of the telecabina, at La Caubella, there are several establishments including L’Expresso, Crepes and Go, Cow Bella, and Xiringuito, so you can fuel up on the mountain and get back to catching the action of the event.

Once you head back down the mountain to La Massana, there are many more cafes, restaurants and bars to carry on enjoying yourself. Just across from the race finish line, Commencal Spot is a popular location for riders to kick back over casual food and a few beers after a big day on the mountain.

In the evening, as the party spreads throughout the parish of La Massana and you head back in the direction of your accommodation, you may want to check out the night life in Arinsal to continue the party.

Bike-Friendly Accommodation for Your Stay During Maxiavalanche

Sant Moritz Apartments located in Arinsal, La Massana, gives you easy access to everything in Vallnord. Offering some of the best bike-friendly lodging accommodation in Andorra, it is both an ideal location and the perfectly equipped accommodation for your stay during Maxiavalanche.

Offering equipment rentals, a bicycle washing point, and a complete workshop for your bike, they have everything you’ll need for a great biking getaway.

If you’re in town to watch the event, why not get on a bike too? Discover everything you need to know about mountain biking in Andorra in our post – from the best trails to where to get your gear, we cover all the details and show that there’s something for everyone when mountain biking in Andorra.

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