Maurer makes a move that puts him 21km ahead
The evening has seen an incredible display of hike-and-fly racing at its absolute finest, as Chrigel Maurer (SUI1) pulled ahead of the pack to finish the evening 21km ahead.
Maurer’s Wendelstein adventure started with a launch at about 5:50pm after a fast hike through the forest and the afternoon heat from Turnpoint 4 Chiemgau-Achental.
He launched first, with Aaron Durogati (ITA1) and Paul Guschlbauer (AUT1) just minutes behind. The three of them then flew together for half an hour in the light evening thermals before they split up. Maurer took a slightly more southerly line, which put him on track to land on the lower slopes of the Wendelstein (1838m), a mountain in the Bavarian Alps in south Germany.
Meanwhile, Durogati and Guschlbauer landed slightly further north, close to another take off. They quickly launched again – but they had flown into a cul-de-sac and had to land down in the forest and start to hike out.
Maurer on the other hand was hiking up – and up and up to the very top of the rocky summit of the Wendelstein. There, perched like an eagle in his eyrie we can imagine he allowed himself a small smile of satisfaction as he prepared his glider for the flight ahead.
At the very least he would get a very long glide out of it. What happened next was simply Maurer magic.
Launching just after 8:00pm a direct glide across the valley saw him connect with light thermals on the other side. Twenty minutes later he was flying cross country, pulling ahead of the other athletes. By 8:30pm his lead was 10km and he was still in the air.
As the other three athletes landed at 8:45pm Maurer was still flying. And flying. He carried on for 10 more endless minutes, until just five minutes before the official land-by time he put his wing down and landed. He was 21km ahead of the other athletes.
Maurer is famous for his moves. This one was a classic, showing his artistry at moving through mountain terrain on the ground is as sure-footed as he is in the air.
This is a man who will sleep well tonight.
Follow the champion on Live Tracking on his last meters on day 2 of the race!