Chrigel Maurer has announced a brand new support team for the Red Bull X-Alps, less than a week before the start of the race.
In a social media post he explained that he had split from his named supporter Thomas Theurillat and had put together a new team at the last minute.
Talking with Cross Country he explained more about his decision. “The team we had with Thomas and Linda was not really working in competition. We saw this in the Fly Chablais Challenge and we were discussing what to do.”
The Fly Chablais Challenge was an adventure hike-and-fly race that took place over the weekend of 26-28 May. It was a last test run for Chrigel’s team ahead of the Red Bull X-Alps, with Thomas Theurillat responsible for race strategy, Linda Hoch technology and Elisa Deutschmann on social media.
Despite winning the event, ahead of Tanguy Renaud-Goud and Tim Alongi in second and third spot, Chrigel wasn’t happy with how the team was functioning.
“We thought the X-Alps is too long, too hard, not to have a good spirit and good fun,” he said.
“There was also workload and family and a lot of things [for people] to do beside the preparation for the race and race. So the final decision was for us to look for other supporters.”
He added: “I have asked Lars Meerstetter and Sebastian Weber. I know them personally and from competitions and I know that they will have fun, so I was lucky they had time to come.
“Lars competed in the X-Pyr and last weekend the Bordairrace, which he won. He is a bit destroyed at the moment because he walked more than 100km during the night, but he will recover this week! Sebastian is an airline pilot with Lufthansa, he is working and he will come just for the start.”
The change is big news for Chrigel, who has won this race seven times in a row. When he first took part Thomas Theurillat, a professional mountain guide and sports psychologist, was widely credited with helping create Chrigel’s winning mindset, allowing him time to simply fly and perform to his best. He was Chrigel’s official named supporter in the 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2021 races.
Although pilots in the Red Bull X-Alps only have one official supporter on the team paperwork, in fact all pilots have more than one supporter that make up their team.
Chrigel admitted that the late change of team was “tight” but added: “I trust that they can do a good job and follow me, they are really ready in hiking and running too.”
He added, “In the other car – we have two cars – is Elisa and Lisa, they will follow me for social media, photo, video and also to help for the fans and the public. So I have a really good feeling. Finally we are here [in Kitzbühel] for the last preparations and waiting for the good weather.”
The Red Bull X-Alps starts on Sunday 11 June 2023.