Christian Maurer (SUI, picture attached) has won the Red Bull X-Alps 2011, landing in Monaco this afternoon. He completed the 864 km course in just under 11 days, 4 hours and 22 minutes. Today, Maurer flew over 60 km through the southern French Alps to seal his victory. He arrived high over final turnpoint Mt Gros, and flew an aerobatic sequence before landing atop Peille to the cheers of several spectators. Maurer was hugged by his supporter Thomas Theurillat before being congratulated by race director Christoph Weber. When asked how he felt, he said, "it’s going to take some time for it to settle in!". The Swiss athlete said he was surprised to have managed to fly all the way in. "I thought I’d have to walk, but here I am!", he said. Maurer then launched and flew down to land on a float moored just off Monaco beach to the delight of hundreds of thousands spectators watching live via www.redbullxalps.com.
Athletes have faced challenging weather conditions during this race with snowstorms, strong winds and heavy rain since the race started in Salzburg on July 17.
Maurer managed to sneak ahead of his competitors by flying deep into the Dolomites on a strong wind day when others elected not to fly. He rounded the Tre Cime turnpoint, then put in a huge flight across Switzerland. During this flight Maurer infringed a forbidden zone by a few metres, and was served a 24-hour penalty. Suddenly the race was turned on its head. It seemed that surely others would now overtake him.
However, unseasonal weather put paid to the efforts of Toma Coconea (ROM), Paul Guschlbauer (AUT4 and Martin Muller (SUI) to catch their prey.
Coconea is currently in second position, over 170km north of goal, while Guschlbauer and Muller trail him.
The Red Bull X-Alps is now scheduled to end at 16:22 on Saturday July 30.
Good flying weather is forecast for the next two days and the heat is now on for the others battling for podium positions to reach Monaco. Follow their efforts on Live Tracking.
The Red Bull X-Alps prize giving and closing party has now been confirmed for 20:00, Sunday July 31 at Stars and Bars, Monaco.