Things Got Crazy When 1,000 Motorcycle Riders Met On A French Beach For A Winter Race

More than 1,000 motorcyclists met on the coast of northern France this weekend for the 39th annualLe Torquet Enduropale, a race that tests their ability to brave winter weather for a three-hour competition.

High winds and a rising tide made the sand on the beach at Le Torquet wet and difficult to ride through.

In a final lap nail-biter, French rider Adrien Van Beveren, riding a Yamaha for France’s Moto Club Pecquencourt, took first place.

To give you a sense of how tough this race is, we’ve compiled photos from the past few years, when snow, water, and lots and lots of crashes made just getting to the finish line an accomplishment.

About 1,000 motor bikes and 500 quad bikes descend on Le Torquet every year for the Enduropale race.

Competitors come largely from France, but also Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and the United Kingdom.

Here, the racers in Enduropale 2014 start the three-hour race on the beach.

Since injuries are common, safety personnel are always nearby.

Visibility is low from all the sand kicked up while riding on the beach. In the 2014 race, wet sand was sticking to riders' gear and helmets.

These two riders collided on the beach at the 2014 race.

The night before the 2012 Enduropale race, Le Torquet was hit by a heavy snowfall.

In 2013, Austrian Michael Staufer tumbled face first toward Stephane Lamour of France.

Ouch.

In the 2012 race, one injured rider waited in the sand for emergency workers to tend to him after a crash.

This rider got stuck under his bike at the 2012 Enduropale.

Riding this close together, it's hard for riders to keep their balance.

It's common to see riders fly off their bikes.

Quite common.

This fallen rider was competing in the 2009 race.

Part of the Enduropale takes place on a motocross track fashioned on the beach at Le Torquet. The turns can be tricky.

Despite all the madness, many drivers return again and again for the thrill of the endurance race.

Now check out another crazy competition.

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