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Yesterday Dan Atherton of GT Factory Racing demonstrated his physical and mental tenacity once more as claimed the third in the Mega avalanche, Alp d'Huez - possibly the most brutal race in the Enduro calendar.

Friday's qualifying track definitely suited Dan's strengths - featuring plenty of technical sections, rocks and turns and limited pedaling. Dan grabbed 1st in his heat qualifying second overall to Nico Vouilloz.

The Mega Avalanche Race Day course runs 30km from the glacial summit of Pic Blanc at 3300m down to the meadows of Allemont at 720m.

Sunday dawned sunny and cold. Perfect conditions for a fast race down. Dan said "The snow was great - really hard -packed, only problem was these massive rocks sticking out of it! This must be one of the most dangerous races I've done - with 30 riders on the front row trying to get through a 3-4m gap."

Rene Wildhaber lead from the start but crashed hard at the glacier's rocks which cost him valuable minutes. Dan came off the ice in 4th but was held up on the long single track leaving leading qualifier Nico Vouilloz to stretch his lead to 45 seconds before he lost a tire on a steep turn and was forced to withdraw. Once again it was the climbs that allowed the more established Enduro riders to overtake Dan - on the first climb Remy Absalon of France passed and then on the second his countryman Nicolas Lau also overtook. Dan clawed back valuable seconds on the Downhill section to finish just 8 seconds behind Lau but had to settle for third place, no mean achievement in his first Enduro season.

Dan said "Thanks to all the Brits who were giving their support. A solid race for third, but I won't be happy until I take the win."

1 ABSALON Remy COMMENCAL (COMMENCAL France) 0:41:19,490 0:00:00 A

2 LAU Nicolas CUBE BIKE (CUBE France) 0:42:09,830 0:00:50 A

3 ATHERTON Dan GT FACTORY RACING (GT Royaume Uni) 0:42:17,560 0:00:58 A

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