17 七月 2013

Scramble to Monaco

They had raced for nine days straight. They had not slept for almost 24 hours. They had covered a total distance of 2,500km. Despite sores, aches and physical fatigue, the race for second place between French athletes Clement Latour (FRA1) and Antoine Girard (FRA2) turned into an epic duel early Tuesday morning.

Despite flying different routes 200km down the Alps Maritimes from St Hilaire, they arrived within an hour of each other at the final turnpoint of Peille. Latour arrived first. Then Girard arrived with his supporter, arms raised, to cheers at exactly 4am and was immediately congratulated by Latour who approached him and the pair shook hands. A few hours later they both flew to the finish line on a floating platform in the Monaco Harbor.

“It's a dream. It's just incredible,” an exhausted but elated Latour told well-wishers.Red Bull X-Alps 2013

“I'm very happy to be third but just to make the finish line was important for me,” Girard said.

It will mean much soul-searching for Britain's Jon Chambers, who was just behind the French at the last turnpoint but dramatically fell back after taking a different route to Monaco. He eventually made Peille at 16:44.

Further back in the pack, Peter Gebhart (ITA2) put in a great flight, closing the gap behind Chambers. Also well-positioned to make Monaco before the race finishes on Friday 12:00 were Martin Muller (SUI2), who has pulled a Night Pass, and Aaron Durogati (ITA1) who has already used his.

Heavy rain was forecast by Wetter.tv, so athletes such as Paul Guschlbauer (AUT1), Toma Coconea (ROM) and Ferdinand van Schelven (NED) will have to pull out all the stops to make goal.Red Bull X-Alps 2013

Other teams to pull Night Passes Tuesday were Max Fanderl (CAN), Paul Guschlbauer (AUT1) and Mike Küng (AUT2).

For what happens next in the drama, go to Red Bull Mobile Live Tracking (http://www.redbullxalps.com/live-tracking), which lets you follow the athletes in real time on redbullxalps.com.


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