Red Bull X-Alps

It ain’t over till it’s over

While the battle at the front has been based around the high mountains of the Matterhorn and the steamy flatlands of Italy, the athletes toward the back have also been battling it out all across the Alps.

ITA2 170707 HZ XAlps 006
 SUI2 170704 HZ XAlps 005
 FRA3 170707 HZ X-Alps 3023

Krischa Berlinger (SUI2) said he’d had a good day. ‘I thought I’d get a three-hour window of flyable weather today and that’s what I got. So I flew and I got to where I wanted to, so I made goal.’

His goal had been a pizza restaurant he knew in a small village in the Brenta. ‘I know I can fly from here to Lake Garda, I’ve done it before. So that is my goal for tomorrow. Unfortunately if I cannot fly then I will just have to wait here. Walking is not really an option anymore. It’s fly or nothing.’

Tobias Grossrubatscher (ITA2) is in 13th. He had a productive day today, flying a straight line along the foothills of the Alps through his native Italy he covered 108km, 42.5km by walking and 65.5km by flying.

His supporter Lukas Hitthaler said today had been ‘a good day’. ‘We started at 05:00 and climbed 1,000m then had an early morning glide. Then we hiked up 1,300m and flew about 10km before bad weather stopped us.

‘Then in the afternoon we made another 800m climb and then he flew all the way to Pezza. It’s a good line, straight along the red line!’

He added: ‘Tomorrow will be difficult, to get across the southern end of Lago Maggiore, but we will hike up and get in a good position to fly tomorrow. We won’t start too early, but we think tomorrow we will use the Ledlenser Night Pass.’

Only 15km ahead of Grossrubatscher, Nelson de Freyman (FRA3) has also covered nearly 100km today, 53km by hiking with more to come, and 41km by flying. He has pulled his Ledlenser Night Pass and will be pushing to get ahead of Pal Takats (HUN) who, despite his enforced 48-hour penalty earlier in the race, is still in the Top 10.

The hopes of a podium place may be gone, but those Top 10 slots are highly coveted by all the athletes. The dream for many is still alive - and the competition still very much on.

Photos by © zooom / Honza Zak