Red Bull X-Alps 2011: day 9
The Red Bull X-Alps is truly a team event. This short film details the role of the supporter, plus great footage of Maurer in France
THE RACE HOTS UP…
“I’ll make Mt Blanc by 2 or 3 pm”, predicted race leader Christian Maurer on Sunday.
However, he had crossed the border into France yesterday morning by 11 am and soared his way down the Chamonix Valley to round Mt Blanc, the seventh of the Red Bull X-Alps turnpoints, by midday.
Not far behind, Toma Coconea was also making good progress, busting into Switzerland and taking turnpoint six, the Matterhorn.
A really tight race is emerging for third spot. Tom De Dorlodot, who held third position yesterday, snookered himself yesterday morning by staying in the valley hiking while his rivals got up high for early flights.
Ferdinand Van Schelven (NED), Martin Muller (SUI3) and Jon Chambers overtook De Dorlodot, but it is Paul Guschlbauer (AUT4) who is pushing hardest and currently in third. He is 35 km behind second placed Coconea.
Further back, Martin Romero (ARG) landed in a tree yesterday afternoon. He is unharmed, fit and well, but his glider has been damaged to such extent Romero has decided to end the race.
Pierre Carter (RSA) has been eliminated this morning. He had hoped for a long glide today to try and catch the pack ahead of him but a tailwind prevented him launching. Carter, who was laid up quite ill three nights ago, has shown amazing perseverance in the last four days. His mission was to stay in the game until the leader made Monaco, but the race's 'tail-end Charlie' elimination rule put paid to that.
The next elimination happens 0700 hrs on Thursday 28 July.
At the time of writing, Maurer has just over 130 km to go before he reaches goal. The Red Bull X-Alps continues to thrill followers watching Live Tracking. Maurer’s performance and the battle for second and third place are getting news channels, the press and internet forums across the world buzzing.