Pre-prologue adventure for Powertraveller pair
This year marked the first time the Red Bull X-Alps featured a Prologue. It was a great success for athletes, fans and Prologue partner Powertraveller. But only just! As Squash Falconer tells Red Bull X-Alps, they very nearly didn't make it at all.
At the start of the Powertraveller Prologue many fans and athletes would have seen the stall from Powertraveller and met its then CEO Jerry Ranger and brand ambassador Squash Falconer as they demo'd the portable chargers.
They wouldn't have known that the pair had their own adventure just making it to the start. Their goal had been to follow the race on custom BMW bikes but while towing them in a Landrover Defender near Rheims, they suffered an accident, the vehicle and trailer overturned and the bikes were written off. Remarkably no one was hurt.
“At that point we could have given up,” says Squash. “But Jerry was amazing. His attitude was just to crack-on.”
Squash, herself a paraglider pilot and adventurer, adds: “It became a bit of an adventure to make the start. We drove all night and then went straight into setting up! It was quite a mission.”
But one that was definitely worth it, she adds. “It was an incredible and unique experience. It's not often you get to be around so many elite athletes in one location. They were all focusing on the almighty task ahead and the atmosphere was electric. My over-riding feeling was what a lovely bunch of human beings they were and it was a privilege to hear their stories.”
She also walked away with a new found respect for the race and what the athletes go through. “Just the one-day Prologue was a big race! It brought home the magnitude of what the athletes were doing.
“Without the bikes, I followed the whole race on Live Tracking which was fantastic. I'd go to bed while they were racing, I'd wake up and they were still racing and a week later, they were still racing!”
“I saw Gavin McClurg afterwards. You could see in his eyes what he'd been through. He told me that he would probably be back in 2017.”
She adds: “We are also talking about coming back in 2017.”
Here's hoping that next time it's without any pre-race close-calls though!