Thursday, July 21, 2011

Red Bull X-Alps 2011: Day 4

Day four of the Red Bull X-Alps saw a big shake-up in the rankings.
Christian Maurer (SUI) broke from the pack yesterday putting in a stunning four-hour flight to surf to within spitting distance of the Tre Cime. This morning, he awoke in a high mountain hut, took the turnpoint, and continued on his way. Four down, four to go: he is knocking down the turnpoints like skittles as he heads for Piz Palu.
Romania’s Toma Coconea (picture attached) and Paul Guschlbauer (AUT) are en route to the Tre Cime. Guschlbauer elected not to fly yesterday for safety reasons. Many are impressed with the rookie’s maturity and ability.
Jouni Makkonen (FIN) also flew. He spent the night up high on a mountain, and at the time of writing, is climbing again to try and fly into the Dolomites.
Other movers and shakers include Jon Chambers (GBR) who has moved to 6th place from the low-teens yesterday morning through a series of cunning short flights.
Michael Gebert (GER) had the worst possible start to the race, landing below the Gaisberg as others flew away to the Dachstein. He’s proved himself the comeback kid of the event, and is now in 12th position.
It hasn’t been a good day for five athletes. Sprungli (FRA), Latour (FRA), Sandsta (NOR), Pethigal (BRA) and Virgilio (POR) all infringed the buffer zone of airspace near Salzburg on Day One. The race committee did a thorough check of their back-up track logs and, as per race rules, applied a 24-hour penalty to each. Back runner Ivar Sandsta (NOR) was then eliminated from the race. The last athlete in the field is eliminated 72 hours after the race starts, and the next elimination takes place on Friday July 22 at 0700hrs.

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