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THE WORLDS TOUGHEST ADVENTURE RACE
New route and Prologue for 2015 Red Bull X-Alps revealed. 6 countries, 10 turnpoints, 1,038km – and a new one-day Prologue in Austria.
It crosses six countries and Europe's highest mountains in a grand arc, from the historic city of Salzburg, Austria to the Mediterranean sea of Monaco. The route of the 2015 Red Bull X-Alps has been revealed – and it could be the hardest yet! There's also a new twist to the event – a one-day Prologue. This will see athletes in a hike and fly battle around the lakes and mountains of Austria's Salzkammergut region.
Nick Neynens is the first New Zealander to compete in the Red Bull X-Alps, and is one of just 33 competitors selected to race from around the globe.
"I competed in the X-Pyr, and although it was a more amateur competition with shorter distances, I think that definitely helped with the selection process for Red Bull X-Alps, as it demonstrated my flying strength.” Says Neynens.
After seeing the release of the new X-Alps 2015 route, Neynens says the unpredictability of the event resulting from the different choices of route makes it great to watch, let alone compete in.
“The reason I like the Red Bull X Alps concept is because there is a lot of freedom in terms of where you want to hike and fly. In a traditional paragliding there is much less variation and obstacles. It is usually a lot more constrained. With X Alps you’re in the mountains and you chose your own path.”
“There is just over 1000km in the race and nine turning points, which are generally 100km or more apart so there are a lot of different and exciting route options. We can study the map and study the terrain but the weather on the day will determine our navigation!”
On average only 12% of athletes make it to the end of Red Bull X Alps. Whoever is successful in 2015 will be among the most skilled adventure athletes around today.
Taking place on July 2, the Prologue will see athletes compete in a tough hike and fly race around the mountains made famous in the movie, The Sound of Music. For the first time all athletes will be concentrated in a single area, starting and finishing at the same point, Fuschl am See.
The first three athletes to finish will each be given a five-minute headstart in the main race start on July 5. They’ll also be rewarded with an additional Led Lenser Nightpass to journey through the night and steal a march on their rivals.
The route has a straight-line distance of 1,038km, just a few kilometers longer than the 2013 course – but there the similarity ends. The 2013 race resulted in a new record of 6d, 23h, 40m for winner Chrigel Maurer (SUI1) – helped of course by favorable weather – but the 2015 route is unlikely to see such fast times. The reason? It is significantly more demanding, says race mastermind Hannes Arch.
“It places a far higher demand on tactical skills. In many places there is not an obvious flight path to take and athletes must use all their skill to stay airborne. If you are forced to land, the consequences can be critical.” Says Arch.
To see the full list of Turnpoints, check out the route video and more, go to redbullxalps.com
Meet the athletes, explore Live Tracking and download the route map and more at redbullxalps.com