Red Bull X-Alps 2009 - Christian Maurer in France
Austrian Extreme Athlete Disqualified – Christian Maurer already at the Mont Blanc
At the 2009 Red Bull X-Alps, the extreme race from the city centre of Salzburg to Monaco’s harbour, Helmut Eichholzer entered a no-fly zone with his paraglider on Monday. The race organizers disqualified the athlete from Salzburg. The 32-year old had occupied the terrific 4th place. The 26-year old competitor Christian Maurer from Switzerland currently occupies the 1st place and is heading towards the Mont Gros (FRA).
SALZBURG (AUT). The first athlete to enter French territory is Christian Maurer, who arrived in France in the night from Sunday to Monday. After passing the Gaisberg (AUT), the Watzmann (GER), the Großglockner (AUT), the Marmolada (ITA) and the Matterhorn (SUI), the 26-year old now also conquered the worshiped Mont Blanc. “The wind is all right, my physical condition marvellous and I hardly need any time to rejuvenate. I still have an extremely good constitution”, says Christian Maurer proudly. Now, Christian Maurer has to pass just one more turnpoint, the Mont Gros (FRA) before he can plunge into the refreshing waters of the Monaco harbour.
Meanwhile, the Austrian athlete Helmut Eichholzer became the third athlete who was disqualified due to violation of airspace. Until his disqualification, the local hero of Salzburg had occupied the 4th place, had successfully fought his way through to Switzerland and had been heading towards the Matterhorn. Some days ago, Raul Penso (VEN) and the Romanian athlete Toma Coconea were disqualified because the infringed the same rule. Helmut Eichholzer had covered 739 km before he was forced to withdraw from the race. Only 352 km and few turnpoints had seperated him from the finishing line in Monaco.
30 athletes from 23 nations started in Salzburg, 19 are still in the running. Severe fatigue, blisters on feet and extreme heat badger the athletes in the main field.
In 2007, only five athletes achieved to cross the finishing line in Monaco.
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