On March 12th, 2016 the 13th annual Glacier Downhill Bike Race will be held in Saas-Fee. This is no usual ride over hill and dale. Rather this race goes over ice and snow down to the glacier village. The riders will start en mass at 3’500m. During the first half of the race, enthralling fights are guaranteed to ensue for the lead position. It’s a race without spikes and of high velocity, with riders reaching speeds of 144 km/h. This year, the prize pool has a total value of 5‘000 Swiss Francs.
The mass start is on the Mittelallalin station at an altitude of 3’500m and goes down over the snowy and icy slopes to the glacier village at 1’800m. The riders have to manage 1’700 metres of altitude difference and 7 km of distance. First they ride on a narrow trail along the Fee glacier, which leads them to the panorama hill. For less experienced racers this is a real challenge. The hill is steep and has to be crossed at high speed. On this part of the trail, riders have been measured, per GPS, travelling at speeds of about 144 km/h.
Further down, the ride leads past the restaurant Morenia before entering the Valley run. This is going to be a very exciting part of the race with extremely steep passages, flat transits and narrow curves, and it is a real assessment of the rider and his material. The last part of the ride, a very flat passage, needs strength to be managed. The outcome of the race is often decided during this section of the course.
Shortly before the finish, the route becomes a little steeper. After reaching the desired end of the race, the award ceremony will take place and in the evening the riders party will take place.