Sunday, June 25, 2017

7 Days To Go Until Red Bull X-Alps 2017



The 2017 edition of Red Bull X-Alps is only 7 days away and for many of the athletes, it will be the biggest race of their career.
Red Bull X-Alps 2017 will start on July 2nd and will be the eighth edition of the world’s toughest adventure race. The combination of trekking and paragliding is one of the most exciting hybrids to emerge from the ongoing convergence of mountain sports.
Starting in Salzburg, 32 Athletes of 21 nationalities will race across the Alps to Monaco via 7 turnpoints in 7 different countries.
Athletes must journey non-stop for more than 1,000km across the Alps by foot or paraglider via set turnpoints. This demands a high level of endurance because when the weather isn’t friendly for flying, athletes must keep trekking until the clouds clear and they can take off again. It’s not uncommon for athletes to hike up to 100km in a day.
Being selected to compete in the world’s toughest and most prestigious adventure race is an achievement in itself. The race committee selects only the best athletes from around the world, based on solid mountaineering and trekking experience, endurance fitness, mental strength and flying ability. Only the most skilled and adventure-tested athletes will be considered.
In the race’s first editions, only one or two athletes had what it takes to make it from Salzburg to the finish line in Monaco. Ever since, the level of competition has intensified and in the last race two-thirds of the athletes made the goal.
The 2015 edition saw 19 athletes of the 32 that competed make the goal – a record number since the first race in 2003. Incredibly, 12 rookies crossed the finish line, including athletes from the US, Korea, New Zealand and elsewhere for the first time in history.
Reigning champion  and four-time consecutive winner of Red Bull X-Alps Christian ‘Chrigel’ Maurer from Switzerland is the main candidate to win the race. For the first time however, Chrigel will be replacing his long-time teammate Thomas Theurillat with a new supporter, which may raise questions about whether he can retain the title. "At the start line, I know I can make it, but on the other hand every edition is new and different. This is what motivates me to do it again", he says confidently.
Toma Coconea (ROU) is the only athlete to appear in all eight editions of Red Bull X-Alps. Over the years, he has secured two second place finishes and proved himself as a serious endurance runner. Toma is one to watch as he knows both the contest and the different strategic vantage points very well.
For Jose Ignacio Arévalo Guede (ESP) this will be his first ever Red Bull X-Alps. In recent years he has been highly successful in national contests, but can he bring the same performance to the Alps?
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a rookie or a veteran; everybody prepares differently for Red Bull X-Alps. The new route down to Slovenia and the unpredictable weather conditions present an almost infinite number of possibilities during the race. For this reason alone, a single strategy simply won’t cut it. Taking the title requires physical strength, unbreakable spirit and above all, versatility.

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