The moves that did (and didn’t) pay off for some athletes

A round up of the key moments from this morning

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As we’ve said before, a lot can happen in a day of the Red Bull X-Alps.

After tagging Turnpoint 7, Frutigen, Chrigel Maurer (SUI1) wasted no time in hiking up to Turnpoint 8, Niesen where there was a huge crowd waiting. His use of a Night Pass looked to be a magic move as he launched and began burning up the sky towards the French border with Mont Blanc in sight. 

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Chrigel Maurer (SUI1) wasted no time in hiking up to Turnpoint 8, Niesen. © zooom / Sebastian Marko

Max Pinot (FRA1) was right on Chrigel’s tail at the sign board, but then launched from halfway up the ridge and flew to the top – this saved him energy and reduced Chrigel’s lead. Patrick Von Känel (SUI2) and Pál Takats (HUN) used the same tactic to reach the Niesen summit as fast as possible.

A little further back, on their way to Turnpoint 6, Fiesch in the Aletsch Arena, James Elliott (CAN) and Max Loidl (GER2) decided to hike up above Disentis/Mustér together and being quicker in the air as a team. This started off well, but James landed and Max had to fly on alone. Max has now reached Fiesch with James not too far behind.

Catching them up, and having a great race is Emoto Yuji (JPN). This morning his team were concerned that conditions wouldn’t allow them to reach Turnpoint 5 Piz Buin. But he made it and has flown almost halfway towards Fiesch.

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© zooom / Sebastian Marko

We also heard the full story of Junming Song’s (CHN) epic night time ultramarathon. He covered 74km on foot and beat elimination by a margin of just 5km.

By now, we can say that Chrigel pulling a Night Pass looks like it hasn’t paid off in any big way – he was caught by Max Pinot (FRA1) and Pál Takats (HUN) (who both got a night of sleep!) right around the French border and the three athletes have settled back into an uneasy alliance. 

There’s still plenty more flying to be done!

Top image © zooom / Sebastian Marko

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