Switzerland’s Christian Maurer needed less than seven days to conquer the Alps and win the Red Bull X-Alps on Sunday. He flew 2,000 km of the challenging journey from Salzburg to Monaco with his paraglider and covered another 200 km by foot.
“He’s he best paraglider I’ve ever seen,” said race director Hannes Arch after Christian Maurer landed at 11:10 a.m. on Sunday in Monaco. The Swiss ace conquered the challenging route over the Alps in less than seven days, flying about 2,000 km and covering the remaining 200 km by foot. His closest rivals were still some 300 km away from the finish line – which is normally the equivalent to about two days of Red Bull X-Alps racing.
Everyone had seen the defending champion from Switzerland as one of the top favorites to win this year’s edition, but the jaw-dropping way he completely dominated the field that was packed with world’s elite was something beyond belief.
His challengers were relegated to the supporting cast in this year’s Red Bull X-Alps edition even though all have the talent to win the race as well. Italy’s Aaron Durogati, who beat Maurer in the last World Cup, was battling his way through the Swiss mountains towards the finish line some 400 km behind when the Swiss ace reached Monaco.
“Christian has incredible skills and didn’t make any mistakes at all,” said Arch. “If anyone with so much talent is also able to take full advantage of the wind and weather conditions, then you see a result like this with one person so far in front.”
On Tuesday the two French Clement Latour and Antoine Girard arrived Monaco, followed by British Jon Chambers.
The remaining athletes in the field are still battling it out for second place and have six days left to reach Monaco. There are several racers currently battling for podium places but they are far behin! d – on e group is near Mont Blanc and the other is near the Matterhorn.