Monday, July 15, 2013

Red Bull X-Alps 2013: Day 9

French athletes Clement Latour (FRA1) and Antoine Girard (FRA2) made their move on Monday in an attempt to break free from the clutches of Jon Chambers (GBR).
 Christian Maurer (SUI1) may have made the finish line on Sunday, but the world's toughest adventure race is far from over. For the last 500km, Latour, Girard and Chambers have been jostling for position, fighting for second place in the Red Bull X-Alps. By Monday afternoon it looked like the Frenchmen had got the upper hand on the Briton.
The pair took a more direct, southerly line, while Chambers pushed deeper into the mountains, hoping for better flying conditions. But Latour and Girard have also pulled the trump card of the race — the Night Pass. This allows them to hike through the night. Since athletes have to declare their intention before 12:00 local time, it was too late for Chambers to pull his in response. He will now be praying the Frenchmen do not reach Monaco by end of Tuesday.
"The race is on as never before", said Latour supporter Bruno Deloustal. "This is the craziest, wildest race in any sport I have ever experienced", he said.

However, team GBR will not be stopped. Speaking on the phone, supporter Tom Payne said: "We are revved up for a chase after the French and we plan a big XC flight".
Meanwhile, two Italian athletes — paragliding world champion Aaron Durogati (ITA1) and Peter Gebhard (ITA2) — were threatening to close the gap, adding another layer of pressure to the athletes at the front. Gebhard also elected to pull a Night Pass. 
It is anyone's guess what the ranking will be by the end of Tuesday but one thing is for sure, it will be a gripping drama to follow.

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