Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Red Bull X-Alps 2011: Day 10

Paul Guschlbauer (AUT) and Martin Muller (SUI) made an audacious move this morning. They climbed to Refugio Sella on the south side of Neues Weisstor putting them in a perfect position to take the Matterhorn turnpoint.
Meanwhile, Toma Coconea (ROM, picture attached) maintained his second position, launching over Visp.
All three have now passed the Matterhorn, with Guschlbauer taking a tiger line over big mountains towards Mt Blanc.
Race leader Christian Maurer is blazing a trail southwards to Mt Gros. At the time of writing, he was covering up to 50 km an hour, flying at altitudes of 3500 m. Storms are set to develop late in the afternoon. "We don’t have a plan for today", said his support Theurillat. "But with the clouds building fast, he’ll fly as far as he can and then walk once it becomes impossible".
Behind, Tom de Dorlodot (BEL) has had a difficult day. Yesterday, he awoke in third position, and now he has dropped to ninth. Today, he hiked for six hours to 2500 m, only to glide to the valley floor.
Dealing with such ups and downs is one of the main challenges of the Red Bull X-Alps. Renowned adventurer Brad Sander is in Europe following the race. He commented, "this adventure is a true test of the human spirit and will to prevail".
At the back of the field, Martin Romero landed in a tree and was injured yesterday, forcing him to quit the race. This put real pressure on Carter (RSA) and Skrabalek (CZE) to avoid automatic elimination today.
Carter hiked high to try and out-glide Skrabalek, but was dogged by a tailwind that prevented him launching. At 0700 hrs, Carter got the call to say his race was over.
It’s an exciting last few days for the Red Bull X-Alps. If Maurer makes Monaco, then the others have just 48 hours to join him before the race closes.

No comments: