All the excitement was happening at the back of the pack on Monday night, as Kinga Masztalerz (NZL2) and Chikyong Ha (KOR) were full-out road-racing with packs to escape the axeman.
Despite sore feet, particularly in Chikyong’s case, and over a weeks’ racing already in their legs, the pair dashed full pelt along roads to make as much progress in the direction of turnpoint 7 as they could, each desperate to get ahead of the other and avoid the chop at 6am.
As 10:30pm came on Monday it looked as if Kinga had the edge, but at 5am on Tuesday morning she got up and started running … up the wrong road. By the time she realised her mistake and turned around it was too late – she couldn’t catch her Korean rival and it was she who had the gutting telephone call to tell her she was out of the race at 6am.
For Chrigel, Monday was a hot and sweaty day of hiking up and flying down, eking out any lift he could find in the stable high-pressure conditions, to make progress around the Cheval Blanc turnpoint and then towards Peille. He used his night pass to walk in the cooler night hours, and as Tuesday gets underway he has Peille in his sights, almost literally. He can certainly see the sea!
Maxime Pinot is still in second position, between turnpoints 10 (Monte Viso) and 11 (Cheval Blanc), with Paul Guschlbauer as his closest rival 35km back, and Benoit Outters 35km behind him.
Petiot (FRA2), Von Kanel (SUI2) and De Dorlodot (BEL) are together in joint 5th, heading for Monte Viso with 266km to go, and Manuel Nubel (GER1) and Simon Oberrauner (AUT2) had breakfast together a few kilometres further back and are now threatening to fly over the heads of the other three. The excitement is far from over! Keep an eye on it all and watch Chrigel as he takes his sixth consecutive win, at redbullxalps.com