While Chrigel Maurer (SUI1) took the 2023 Red Bull X-Alps title the action’s not over for the 21 other athletes who all opted to pull their Night Passes.
There is a gaggle at the front who will all be hiking overnight to try and make the finish at Zell am See, Austria. The others will be aiming to get into a better position to continue tomorrow.
All eyes are on Damien Lacaze (FRA2), Patrick von Känel (SUI2), Maxime Pinot (FRA1), and Pal Takats (HUN) who are on a foot battle to make a spot on the podium.
Before 21:00 Damien was crushing it and made it to the pass at Altertaurn. Race reporter, Gavin McClurg predicted that he’ll have second place in the bag if he can launch in time.
And launch he did, landing at the valley at Amerthal at 20:57, placing him 26km from goal. “Huge!!! What an awesome effort!” said Gavin.
The group behind him didn’t manage that final glide down and will all have to hike through longer valley systems overnight to secure a spot on the podium
What happens when they get to Zell am See remains to be seen. They have to get within 50 meters of the float. Will they run and then get into the water and swim, or will they restart the final sprint in the morning?
For Gavin, it will be a shame if the athletes can’t make that final glory glide down onto the landing spot.
Eli covered a long distance after she launched near Turnpoint 11, Dufourspitze, and landed west of Sondrio in northern Italy.
Her 157km flight took her across the beautiful lake area and around a terrain that’s difficult to navigate with complex aerology and airspace. She will now hike overnight to get into the best position possible on Sunday, to get to Turnpoint 12 Cima Tosa in Italy.
Reto Reiser (SUI5) Maximilian Loidl (GER2) and Tobias Grossrubatscher (ITA1) will use the extra time to get closer to Turnpoint 13, Drei Zinnen.
It was a sad day for Celine Lorenz (GER3) who decided to withdraw from the race after twisting her ankle again during a 20km walk into Turnpoint 6, Fiesch in the Aletsch Arena. She tried to continue in the race but along with a pre-existing injury to her ankle, it became too painful to continue.
A recap of the 21 athletes who have pulled a Night Pass and their position:
Next Turnpoint, Schmittenhöhe, Austria
Damien Lacaze (FRA2)
Patrick von Känel (SUI2)
Maxime Pinot (FRA1)
Pal Takats (HUN)
Simon Oberrauner (AUT1)
Tim Alongi (FRA4)
Just passed Turnpoint 14, Sexten, Dolomites.
Aaron Durogati (ITA2)
Thomas Friedrich (AUT3)
Sepp Inniger (SUI4)
Paul Guschlbauer (AUT2)
Tanguy Renaud-Goud (FRA5)
Next Turnpoint, 14 Sexten, Dolomites.
Thomas de Dorlodot (BEL)
Next Turnpoint: 13, Drei Zinnen.
Nicola Donini (ITA3)
Reto Reiser (SUI5)
Tobias Grossrubatscher (ITA1)
Maximilian Loidl (GER2)
Michal Gierlach (POL)
Next Turnpoint, 12, Cima Tosa.
Elisabeth Egger (AUT4)
Logan Walters (USA1)
Emoto Yuji (JPN)
Jordi Vilalta (ESP)
Top image © zooom / Sebastian Marko