Friday, July 7, 2017

Red Bull X-Alps 2017 Race Report: Day 5

Here are the highlights from day 5 of  the Red Bull X-Alps 2017:

Day 5 was a story of mixed fortunes for lone warriors and the chaser groups.
Coming up fast in third place was Paul Guschlbauer (AUT1), who passed through Turnpoint 4 at lunchtime before swiftly moving on, destination Italy. He put in another incredible flight to make Merano by evening.
It was then the turn of the chaser groups. Early in the day alliances had been formed between Hungarian acro legend Pal Takats (HUN), Benoit Outters (FRA4), Ferdinand van Schelven (NLD) and Manuel Nubel (GER2). And just behind them another gaggle had also formed consisting of Pascal Purin (AUT3), Sebastian Huber (GER1) and Stansislav Mayer (CZE) "There’s one plan: fly far", Purin said before take-off.
And boy did they succeed. Outters was first to arrive, then Nick Neynens (NZL) who’d taken his own line south of the main pack. Then in quick succession, Manuel Nubel, Ferdinand van Schelven and Pal Takats. They then all raced across the valley to hike 400m up a steep gully on Sonnenspitz and within minutes of arriving were hurling themselves down the scree slope and into the air. (Head over to Live Tracking to check out their traces).
But just over the valley, the next group to come through, consisting of Huber (GER1), Mayer (CZE) and Purin (AUT3) had the cheek to launch off a grassy slope a mere 200m behind the Turnpoint. And they got away too after a mere 10 minute hike.
Last to bag Turnpoint 4 by 8pm was Frenchman Nelson de Freeman (FRA3), who was not having a happy day. Clearly exasperated he said: "I was on the wrong side of the mountain. And I was flying like a sh*t!"
But within minutes he was also back up in the air. The top 13 athletes are now firmly on their way to the Oetztal and beyond.
The only other athlete to pull a Ledlenser Night Pass was Duncan Kotze (RSA), in a bid to get clear of Claudio Heidel Schemberger (ARG). It looks like he’ll be successful and it will be the Argentinian who’ll be eliminated tomorrow.

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