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Join the Red Bull X-Alps athletes in their adventure across the Alps with this highlight reel from the race.
Clock stops on the world’s toughest adventure race after 12 days of hike and fly drama across the Alps.
For 12 days they have hiked and flown incredible distances across the Alps from Salzburg to Monaco. They’ve encountered driving rain, strong winds, thunderstorms and the sweltering heat of the Italian plains as they battled to complete one of the hardest editions of ‘the world’s toughest adventure race’.
Last night, at 19:00pm, the race finally ended for the first and second-placed athletes Chrigel Maurer (SUI1) and Benoit Outters (FRA4), who flew down to the beach at Roquebrune, the official finish line. It is the fifth win in a row for Maurer.
On July 2nd, 31 athletes set off from the city of Salzburg towards the first turnpoint of the Gaisberg. Today, at 10:53am, as time was called on the eighth edition of the Red Bull X-Alps, only 19 athletes remained in the fight. And what a fight they put up to the very end.
Up front Paul Guschlbauer (AUT1), some 5km from goal dug deep to reach the Mediterranean coast. But it wasn’t enough. Yesterday he’d hiked 101km to get himself into position high up on the Col di Tenda, but when he got there late evening, he discovered there were no thermals and was unable to fly, so top-landed. With flight restrictions in place today, making the onward flight to Turnpoint 7 even more challenging, he eventually resigned himself to not making goal.
Overnight Nick Neynens (NZL) was the only athlete with a Ledlenser Night Pass still to pull, allowing him to hike through the night. He rested for four hours with just his glider wrapped around his legs then set off at midnight, climbing to 3,400m on the Pointe du Ribon (3,529m). From there he launched as dawn broke and flew 15km, overtaking Nelson de Freyman (FRA3).
In the mid-pack Pascal Purin (AUT3) and Pal Takats (HUN) were locked in a battle for 6th place on the roads of Italy. For Takats, who flew 160km yesterday, it had marked an extraordinary comeback after earlier serving a 48 hour penalty for an airspace infringement.
At the back a last ditch duel took place between the American athlete Gavin McClurg(USA1) and the Canadian Richard Brezina (CAN), separated by just 3km.
By the end, athletes had covered incredible distances on foot. Romanian running legend Toma Coconea (ROU) had hiked a total distance of 914km. Benoit Outters had hiked 772km while most athletes remaining at the end had covered in excess of 500km.
Race winner Chrigel Maurer said: “This has been one of the most difficult races in my career. I’ve never faced such bad weather in the Red Bull X-Alps before. But to be here for the fifth time and to win the race is a great feeling. It was a hard race.”
His supporter Tobias Dimmler said: “The race was tough, it was very physical.”
Speaking from the beach at Roquebrune, where the race officially ends, Outters said: “I am very happy, it’s just enormous. It was very, very difficult. But I am super happy to be here in Monaco.”
Race organiser and co-founder Ulrich Grill said: “This has been an incredible edition of the Red Bull X-Alps and in many ways the hardest edition. The route was longer and the weather was more challenging, forcing athletes to hike huge distances instead of fly. But it’s been inspiring and humbling to see how they rose to the challenge and put in superhuman efforts to hike and fly across the Alps. They are all champions.”
Aaron Durogati (ITA1) and Sebastian Huber (GER1) cross the finish line together, arm in arm, to win the Leatherman Prologue with Benoit Outters (FRA4) crossing the finish in third.
Christian Maurer (SUI1) calls in sick with a cold and misses the Leatherman Prologue. He is declared fit to compete in the main race, but must start the second day two hours, 31 minutes and 21 seconds behind the Prologue winners.
In pouring rain, Sebastian Huber (GER1) wins the Gaisberg König title once again, retaining his title from 2015. He wins a pair of lederhosen.
Romanian Running Man Toma Coconea (ROU) gets off to a sprinting start on day one, pulling a Ledlenser Night Pass and covering 108.8km in 13.7 hours. True to form, he hikes 915km during the race.
Team Nick Neynens (NZL) hits the road and is made up of the athletes’ mum and his brother in a car. Nick’s in flip-flops. It’s just like the old days.
Antoine Girard (FRA1) has to withdraw from Red Bull X-Alps 2017 on the second day, following an accident during launch. He injured his knee.
Also on day two, Maurer (SUI1) surges from 22nd place into the lead to pass Turnpoint 2, Triglav, crushing the all-day lead that Coconea (ROU) had established after hiking through the night.
On day three, Stephan Gruber (AUT2) follows Girard out of the race with an injury.
At the back, Claudio Heidel Schemberger (ARG) takes the award for dogged determination. He spends a very uncomfortable and cold night in the mountains and is close to hypothermia when his supporter finds him at 2am. But he’s determined not to be eliminated, battles through on a night pass and avoids elimination.
Aaron Durogati (ITA1) retires from Red Bull X-Alps 2017. He had been suffering from an injury to his knee for much of the race.
Gaspard Petiot (FRA1) proves himself to be a new French eagle and chases Christian Maurer (SUI1), even creeping ahead of him at one point. It looks like it’s game on … until Petiot injures himself landing and has to withdraw. Petiot says: “It was the perfect race until this.”
In all, seven athletes are forced to retire, but Che Golus (AUS), Manuel Nubel (GER2) and Krischa Berlinger (SUI2) also show remarkable determination to battle on to the last.
The Red Bull X-Alps is an adventure, not just a race. Throughout, athletes come together to hike – and fly – together as a ‘gaggle’. In a contest this tough, cooperation is key.
The Axeman. His regular visits to the competition drive the athletes forward. Everest summiteer, David Liano Gonzalez (MEX), Duncan Kotze (RSA) and Jose Ignacio Arevalo Guede (ESP) are among the victims. Evgenii Griaznov (RUS) memorably avoids his blade by just 300m when Mitch Riley (USA3) can’t quite do enough.
The kindness of strangers. Gavin McClurg (USA1) enjoys some Alpine hospitality when he lands up high, while on his penultimate day, Christian Maurer (SUI1) lands on a beach by the Mediterranean – and gets invited into a stranger’s home for pasta and a good night’s sleep. Pascal Purin (AUT3) also spends the night with a mountain farming family.
Watch that airspace. Tom de Dorlodot (BEL), Nelson de Freyman (FRA3), Pal Takats (HUN), Evengii Griaznov (RUS), Stanislav Mayer (CZE) and Tobias Grossrubatscher (ITA2) all get 48-hour penalties for airspace incursions.Facing his 48-hour penalty, Pal Takats (HUN) makes an extraordinary 50km run so he can serve it on the shores of Lake Garda. He makes it with minutes to spare.The battles at the back. The Red Bull X-Alps isn’t just about the leaders. Throughout the adventure, there are some extraordinary contests and acts of courage in the rear ranks as athletes show true grit to avoid elimination, keep their pride – or just help others.
Team USA. Gavin McClurg (USA1), Mitch Riley (USA3) and Jesse Williams (USA2) fly the flag with McClurg finishing the competition in a fast foot race against Canadian Richard Brezina (CAN). McClurg wins, finishing 15th.
The scenery. Triglav, the Matterhorn, Zugspitze … and the Mediterranean, of course. Over three crossings of the Alps, the athletes pass through some of the most beautiful landscapes on Earth. And occasionally, they get to stop and enjoy them.
Benoit Outters (FRA4). The 27-year-old Rookie has the race of his life and comes in 2nd. He is the only athlete to land at Peille – sorry, Chrigel – and is greeted by his emotional mum. In fact, the Rookies impress. Simon Oberrauner (AUT4) races to the last in the battle for fourth against race veteran Flying Dutchman Ferdinand van Shelven (NLD).
Tom de Dorlodot (BEL) competes for the sixth time and, despite serious setbacks, makes his final goal: Lake Garda. Michal Gierlach (POL) also picks a good spot to end his race … Lake Como.
#guschlpower. While the first and second place athletes extend their leads, the toughest battle is often for third place. But Paul Guschlbauer (AUT1) handles the pressure and sees off his rivals. He doesn’t make the Peille turnpoint, but does fly to the Med at the last minute … and secures his triple third.
… and, yes, Chrigel ‘The Eagle’ Maurer (SUI1) wins the Red Bull X-Alps for the fifth consecutive time.
Photo by © zooom / Sebastian Marko
1. Christian Maurer (SUI1) – 10 days 23 hours
2. Benoit Outters (FRA4) – 11 days 1 hour 3. Paul Guschlbauer (AUT1) – 5km from goal
4. Ferdinand van Schelven (NLD) – 49km from goal
5. Simon Oberrauner (AUT4) – 51km from goal
6. Pascal Purin (AUT3) – 86km from goal
7. Pal Takats (HUN) – 89km from goal
8. Sebastian Huber (GER1) – 95km from goal
9. Nick Neynens (NZL) – 130km from goal
10. Stanislav Mayer (CZE) – 172km from goal
11. Toma Coconea (ROU) – 271km from goal
12. Nelson de Freyman (FRA3) – 275km from goal
13. Tobias Grossrubatscher (ITA2) – 275 from goal
14. Gavin McClurg (USA1) – 308km from goal
15. Richard Brezina (CAN) – 319km from goal
16. Michal Gierlach (POL) – 378km from goal
17. Evgenii Griaznov (RUS) – 457km from goal
18. Jesse Williams (USA2) – 474km from goal
19. Tom de Dorlodot (BEL) – 510km from goal
20. Manuel Nübel (GER2) – withdrawn – 209km from goal
21. Gaspard Petiot (FRA2) – withdrew – 383km from goal
22. Mitch Riley (USA3) – eliminated – 530km from goal
23. Krischa Berlinger (SUI2) – withdrew – 551km from goal
24. Jose Arevalo Guede (ESP) – eliminated – 745km from goal
25. Che Golus (AUS) – withdrew – 773km from goal
26. Aaron Durogati (ITA1) – withdrew – 776km from goal
27. Duncan Kotze (RSA) – eliminated – 832km from goal
28. Claudio Heidel Schemberger (ARG) – eliminated – 967km from goal
29. Stephan Gruber (AUT2) – withdrew – 984km from goal
30. Antoine Girard (FRA1) – withdrew – 1048km from goal
31. David Liano Gonzalez (MEX) – eliminated – 1059km from goal
Reference/Quelle with thanks to redbullxalps.com
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