Red Bull X-Alps Race Wide Open As Heroic Frenchman Catches The Eagle
Gaspard Petiot does what no one has done in eight years of Red Bull X-Alps – take the fight back to Maurer.
A new chapter in Red Bull X-Alps history was written last night as Gaspard Petiot (FRA2) achieved what no one else has in the eight years that Chrigel Maurer (SUI1) has dominated the race. He caught up with him.
This year Maurer made his break on Day 2 after taking a different line over the Hohe Tauern and yesterday morning it looked like his position was secure, having opened up a 100km lead.
But he hadn’t reckoned on Gaspard Petiot, the mechanical engineer and alpine guide from France, who had caught up with him by lunchtime. The pair were last night taking the fight back into the heart of the mountains which offer better flying conditions than the more direct line over flatlands to Turnpoint 6, the Matterhorn.
Behind them in hot pursuit lie Benoït Outters (FRA4) who overtook Paul Guschlbauer (AUT1) to move into third place and two chaser groups working together to fly faster.
In other developments three athletes, Tom de Dorlodot (BEL), Pal Takats (HUN) and Evgenii Griaznov (RUS) have each been handed down 48 hour time penalties for infringing airspace violations. De Dorlodot must sit out the race for 48 hours from 5am tomorrow.
“It’s very disappointing, but we’re going to keep trying, despite the penalty,” said de Dorlodot. Takats said he was angry with himself because it occurred on his home turf around Innsbruck. But he’s determined to carry on: “Not making Monaco is unthinkable. I was doing so well, but I was just tired and concentrating on other stuff. Anyway these things happen and now I have a new challenge to make Monaco.”
Athletes also face a new challenge – the weather according to Morecast. Today was clearly not as good a flying day as yesterday. The weather across the Alps is split. In the northern Alps, where the chasing pack is, there are good flying conditions. On the southside, where Chrigel Maurer (SUI1) and Gaspard Petiot (FRA2) are battling it out head-to-head, the flying conditions are less good. Will the peloton catch up to the leaders?
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