We sat down with Tom and talked about his Red Bull X-Alps 2021. He told us about his highlights and stand-out moments and how the race compared to his previous ones.
What was the highlight of your race?
Probably the massive day with a few flights between Andermatt and Dent d’Oche. It felt good to finally be flying and to cover a big distance. It was great to share most of the flight with my friend Ferdy Van Schelven. We got close to the front again that day but the next day we got stuck under a grey sky and the front pack escaped in good weather. It felt like we were cursed, haha. That’s part of the game.
What was the toughest part for you?
There was a lot of walking (I got the record with 654 km walked)…. I was well trained but it was frustrating to get four no flying days in a row due to extreme winds going towards Italy. It was really hard to walk around Mont Blanc. I have done this flight before and it usually takes a few hours. It took us the whole day and a lot of walking to clear that area.
What was THE stand-out memory for you?
When everyone started singing for my birthday at the start line. It really motivated me. A few hours later I was thermalling with Christian Maurer near the Dachstein and I could still feel the energy of the crowd. It got me into the zone somehow. The mindset was good.
How was this race in comparison to your other Red Bull X-Alps races?
I was more prepared than any other time, both physically and mentally. I had an amazing flying set too. But it felt like I couldn’t express myself this time. I was off the rhythm a bit. It seemed that options were not working and that bad weather followed us. All in all, I loved the experience but out of the eight races it was the most frustrating race for me.