The Red Bull X-Alps have the reputation of being the toughest adventure race in the world. The 32 athletes were certainly able to confirm this at the 9th edition of the race.
At the beginning of the race, good flight conditions allowed the athletes to check off the first six turnpoints as far as Davos mostly in the air.
In Switzerland, the race slowed down abruptly. Poor flight conditions meant that the athletes had to cope with much of the route and a lot of vertical meters on foot. Conditions for long climbs were especially hard due to this year’s harsh winter. The highlight was the turnpoint at the Titlis, where some athletes climbed more than 5000 meters in a single day!
In the final days of the race, a heatwave created stable flight conditions, once again demanding everything from the athlete. These conditions made the performance of the athletes all the more amazing. Ten athletes made it to the finish within 10 days! The constant battle of the places 5 through 10 made the X-Alps exciting until the end. The joint finish of Benoit Outters and Paul Guschlbauer was certainly a highlight of the Red Bull X-Alps 2019!
PILOT RECAPS OF THE LAST DAYS
On the 10th day of the race, Paul Guschlbauer was no longer able to maintain his lead over Benoit Outters because of poorer flying conditions along his route. In the evening, the two stood together at the foot of Turning Point 12 “Cheval Blanc”. Instead of fighting a head-to-head battle, the two athletes teamed up to master the last part of the course together. The joint finish of Benoit and Paul was particularly emotional and embodies the spirit of the Red Bull X-Alps. Third place goes to the well deserving Team FRA1 and Team AUT1!
Simon Oberrauner, in 10th place at the beginning of day 11, had a good flight and made up a few places. Simon had been under the weather from the third day of the race, but like 15 other athletes, he activated his night pass that day and fought his way to the finish line to Peille, which he reached at 23:35 to secure sixth place! A grandiose performance!
|Distance to goal||212,7 km|
|Distance Flying||1297,8 km|
|Distance Hiking||476,33 km|
Tobias Grossrubatscher put in a great race, but had to sit out a 12-hour penalty on day 6 due to an airspace violation. But that was no reason for the young South Tyrolean to stick his head in the sand. “Tobifly” is known for his stamina. In 2018 he climbed more than 12,000 meters in one day to set a hike & fly record. This stamina allowed Tobias to make it to just before the turnpoint Monte Viso, securing him 13th place!
Only three kilometers behind Tobias, Markus Anders ended his rookie race in 14th place. A few minor mistakes delayed the arrival of Mark at the St. Hilaire turnpoint, and he couldn’t start his glide down on day 10 until 8:00 o’clock. After the subsequent hour-long climb, however, he wasn’t able to launch until the late afternoon from the east flank. On day 11 Markus also injured his foot, so running was out of the question.
Congratulations to all our athletes and their teams for their terrific performance!
Fotos (c) skywalk paragliders/ Daniel Gassner
Fotos (c) zooom.at – Honza Zak, Vitek Ludvik, Harald Tauderer, Felix Wölk, Sebastian Marko, Christian Lorenz, Julian Lajtai