Tommy Friedrich is king of the Gaisberg

The young Austrian sprints up to Turnpoint 1 in 59:03

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Tommy Friedrich (AUT3) is King of the Gaisberg after reaching the top of the mountain first on Day 1 of the Red Bull X-Alps. The 20-year-old athlete looked ecstatic as he not only made the summit ahead of many of his heroes, but then got in the air first too.

Michael Gierlach (POL) was second, with Maxime Pinot (FRA1) in third. Close behind him Chrigel Maurer (SUI1) arrived in fifth. As expected the race to the top had taken the lead athletes just over one hour.

At the Turnpoint they found the wind was dropping into the safe zone for launching. Although it had been gusting to 60kph earlier in the morning, by 12:30pm local time the wind had dropped to less than 30kph. This allowed athletes to launch quickly.

In the air they found good soaring conditions, allowing them to stay in the air. But the thermic conditions were tough – small thermals that carried them to only 1700m. That meant a slow start to the cross-country flying but a spectacular view from the Gaisberg as 29 athletes flew in formation above Salzburg’s most famous mountain.

After about 45 minutes athletes slowly started to fly downtrack towards the next Turnpoint at Wagrain-Kleninarl. The game this afternoon will be for them to stay in the air, gain altitude when they can, keep it and fly conservatively. This is not a day for taking sporting risks – as soon as they do that they are likely to find themselves on the deck, hiking in 30C heat.

In other news, no athlete has pulled a Night Pass tonight. They will be saving them for later in the race.

Keep watching the Live Tracking for updates.

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