Christian Maurer (SUI1) may be within 13km of Peille and his fifth Red Bull X-Alps victory, but there’s also a battle going on at the back as a number of athletes fight to avoid elimination at 6am tomorrow.
With 548km still to go, Jesse Williams (USA2) and Tom de Dorlodot (BEL) are currently bringing up the rear, but Mitch Riley (USA3) is just meters ahead, with Evgenii Griaznov (RUS) currently nourishing a 6km lead.
Ever since reaching Turnpoint 4, the Lermoos Tiroler Zugspitz Arena, the pack has been working together but also battling it out to make sure they're not eliminated.
Mitch said: ‘This battle has been going on for a few days now, ever since Lermoos, really. It’s been fun and motivating and has made us all go quicker. Evgenii has really been hauling ass and he’s putting in a really brave effort given that he hasn’t got a night pass. But it may also be a smart move. I know Tom’s hurting and I’m limping a bit, so someone could go down with an injury. He’s not letting us have it until we’ve got it.’
They are all currently hiking for their place in the race, and even though the Russian is leading the pack, he is the only one that doesn't have a Night Pass, and looks most likely to go.
Photos by © zooom / Honza Zak, © zooom / Harald Tauderer and © zooom / Vitek Ludvik