France vs. Switzerland? There can be only one winner
There's now over 260km between the front and back of the Red Bull X-Alps 2019 – but Switzerland now stands in the leaders' way
As day three of the Red Bull X-Alps 2019 comes to a close, the field has truly split – in large part thanks to favourable flying conditions.
At the back of the field, Rodolphe Akl (LEB) faces the axe at 6am tomorrow, especially as Dominika Kasieczko (POL), in 31st place, has pulled a Night Pass to allow her to keep moving beyond the 10.30pm pause in the race.
Meanwhile, the leaders, Maxime Pinot (FRA4) and Christian Maurer (SUI1) are 260km further down the course line. After arriving almost simultaneously at Turnpoint 5 Lermoos-Tiroler Zugspitz Arena, they are now en route to Turnpoint 6 Davos. Their epic two-man battle looks set to continue, although Aaron Durogati (ITA1) and Paul Guschlbauer (AUT1) are among the chasing pack breathing down their necks.
The French team is also having a spectacular Red Bull X-Alps, with all four of their athletes in the top ten. Can they work together to break five-time winner Chrigel’s stranglehold, before reeling him in on the final leg through their native France?
Perhaps Switzerland itself will have something to say about that. The country’s big mountains, standing guard over the Swiss Turnpoints of Davos, Titlis and Eiger will prove particularly challenging, particularly if the weather turns. There’s still a lot of snow on the high summits and the pace could slow.
But this is also Chrigel's home turf and he remains the man to beat.
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