Friday, July 12, 2013

Red Bull X-Alps 2013: Day 5

 He came from out of nowhere. Maybe he felt the magnetic pull of his home country drawing him in. Or perhaps it was the prospect of being the second Swiss athlete to arrive in the paragliding Mecca of Interlaken. But on Thursday, day five of the Red Bull X-Alps, Martin Muller (SUI2) stormed ahead, overtook several teams and moved from ninth to second place.
It was an awesome display from the Swiss clockmaker. He now joins the pack of athletes desperately trying to close down race leader Christian Maurer's (SUI1) 150km lead. Muller's position was far from secure however and the other athletes showed no sign of letting him get ahead.
Antoine Girard (FRA2), Jon Chambers (GBR) and Clement Latour (FRA1) were all flying well and as the afternoon progressed had overtaken Muller. But just 15km separated them. Not far behind lay Peter Gebhard (ITA2), Ferdinand Van Schelven (NED) and Toma Coconea (ROM). This is where the real Red Bull X-Alps battle is taking place and it's anyone's guess as to who will emerge victorious.
Other updates: both Max Fanderl (CAN) and Thomas Hofbauer (AUT3) received 48-hour penalties for entering forbidden airspace around Innsbruck.
Two athletes pulled Night Passes, which allows them to hike through Thursday night. They were Pil Pyo Hong (KOR) and Raul Penso (VEN).

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