Thursday, July 11, 2013
Red Bull X-Alps 2013: Day 4
But there is another mountain battle going on, just as thrilling, just as epic and even more challenging. The Red Bull X-Alps is a physical and mental test like no other, demanding extraordinary fitness, mountain awareness and flying skill.
As day four loomed to a close, the main action was in the fight for 2nd and 3rd places as several teams jostled for position. The Swiss flying ace Christian Maurer (SUI1) may have an unassailable lead as he entered his home country but it was the action further down the field that had fans glued to Live Tracking, which lets them follow the athletes' progress in real time.
Among the chasing pack were Antoine Girard (FRA2), Toma Coconea (ROM), Aaron Durogati (ITA1), Jon Chambers (GBR) and Clement Latour (FRA1). They were all trading places as they journeyed south from Zugspitze, Germany's highest mountain to the next turnpoint of Ortler / Sulden and then into Switzerland.
Since starting, they have flown and hiked approximately 400km of the 1,031km route from Salzburg to Monaco and as of Wednesday evening, despite the fatigue and pain, they were still determined to give it everything. Maurer meanwhile was in touching distance of Interlaken, the half-way point of the race and 150km ahead of the nearest competitor, after putting in another amazing flight.
For the first time in the race, no athlete pulled a Night Pass on Wednesday, which lets them hike through the night.