The battle to Turnpoint 5
It's been a tough morning in the air but Lermoos-Tiroler Zugspitz Arena is now in sight
Once again the weather has been the main player in the Red Bull X-Alps this morning. At 12noon athletes were in the air and flying – but it was proving tough going.
Having launched at 10am, by 11am race leader Chrigel Maurer (SUI1) was on the deck. He had spent 45 minutes patiently working the sunny face of the mountain he was on, waiting for thermals. When he did catch one, he took it over the back and down track, but it dissipated quickly and left him with nowhere to go but down – he lost 700m vertical.
Packing quickly he ran back up to above the tree-line where he quickly got ready to launch again.
Behind him the other athletes were piling on the pressure. Aaron Durogati (ITA1) and Tobias Grossrubatscher (ITA2) both got in the air and were soon at 2300m. The two Italians spent haven't stopped flying together since.
Patrick von Känel (SUI2) meanwhile was pushing hard too, moving into second place and chasing Maurer down. By 12:30pm he was flying at 3000m and had narrowed the gap between him and Maurer to less than 10km.
Ahead of them all for the afternoon's racing stands the mighty Zugspitz. At 2992m this is Germany's highest mountain. However high they get they must land here to sign it at Turnpoint 5 Lermoos-Tiroler Zugspitz Arena. After that, it's destination TP6 Säntis in Switzerland's. With two Swiss athletes in the lead the race is only going to get faster as they arrive on home turf.
Follow the chase on Live Tracking!