After a weekend of full-on racing and good flying conditions at the front on Sunday, Chrigel Maurer was on his way to the Cheval Blanc, turnpoint 12, the last to tag before the final run southeast to Peille.
Chrigel sailed over Monte Viso, TP 11, in orbit on Sunday, flying at over 3,000m. 80km behind him Maxime Pinot is on his way to Monte Viso on Monday morning, and Paul Guschlbauer is 60km behind him. Benoit Outters is closing on Guschlbauer, with the advantage that the south of France is his home turf.
Antoine Girard had been struggling with a debilitating knee problem that meant serious hiking had become an impossibility. He did his best to fly to reach the Titlis turnpoint in the air on Sunday, but didn’t make it. The hike to the turnpoint being impossible, he was forced to withdraw from the race on Sunday evening.
The field is now spread out across 500km, to where Kinga Masztalerz and Chikyong Ha, who are heading for TP 6, Davos, have just 10km between them. The Korean is suffering with very sore feet though, and the axeman cometh again at 6am on Tuesday.
The Red Bull X-Alps team caught up with the ever-smiling Jurij Koren on Sunday evening. The young Slovakian athlete, currently in 17th position, summed up his experience of the race by saying “I think the Red Bull X-Alps is better than it was in my dreams!” He is now closing on the Eiger, and very happy knowing he’s on the second half of the course.
The weather forecast for Monday is for high pressure in the French Alps, with sunshine and temperatures up to 35C in the valleys making for hot hiking. Some high cloud may help matters on the ground, but could reduce thermal activity in the air. Wind-wise, a general easterly flow is forecast in the Alpes Maritimes, which could hamper Chrigel’s progress towards Peille.