‘Hardest’ Red Bull X-Alps crowns Maurer as champion | SummitDaily.com

‘Hardest’ Red Bull X-Alps crowns Maurer as champion

Red Bull Media
Special to the Daily

After two weeks of hiking and paragliding through some of the nastiest summer weather in event history, two men from a field of 31 elite athletes crossed the finish line for the 14th edition of the Red Bull X-Alps: a highly competitive (and highly intimidating) adventure race from Salzburg, Austria, to Monaco, crossing more than 21 countries over a straight-line distance of 700 miles.

On July 13, four-time defending champion Christian Maurer of Switzerland claimed his fifth X-Alps title. He finished in 10 days and 23 hours, covering more than 1,400 miles to finish two hours ahead of France's Benoit Outters, who flew into Monaco after 11 days and one hour. The next-fastest competitor, Paul Guschlbauer of Austria was 3.1 miles from the finish line when he hit the 12-day cutoff mark.

The top American was adventure-racing legend Gavin McClurg, who was 191 miles from the finish line at the cut-off.

"This has been an incredible edition of the Red Bull X-Alps and in many ways the hardest edition," event founder Ulrich Grill told Red Bull. "The route was longer and the weather was more challenging, forcing athletes to hike huge distances instead of fly. But it's been inspiring and humbling to see how they rose to the challenge and put in superhuman efforts to hike and fly across the Alps. They are all champions."

The champion himself agrees: This year's X-Alps was the wildest of his career, Maurer said.

"I've never faced such bad weather in the Red Bull X-Alps before," Maurer said. "But to be here for the fifth time and to win the race is a great feeling. It was a hard race."

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For a complete list of competitors and how far they were from the finish line after 12 days, see the sports section at SummitDaily.com.

2017 Red Bull X-Alps results

1. Christian Maurer (SUI1) – 10 days, 23 hours

2. Benoit Outters (FRA4) – 11 days, 1 hour

3. Paul Guschlbauer (AUT1) – 5km from goal

4. Ferdinand van Schelven (NLD) – 49km from goal

5. Simon Oberrauner (AUT4) – 51km from goal

6. Pascal Purin (AUT3) – 86km from goal

7. Pal Takats (HUN) – 89km from goal

8. Sebastian Huber (GER1) – 95km from goal

9. Nick Neynens (NZL) – 130km from goal

10. Stanislav Mayer (CZE) – 172km from goal

11. Toma Coconea (ROU) – 271km from goal

12. Nelson de Freyman (FRA3) – 275km from goal

13. Tobias Grossrubatscher (ITA2) – 275km from goal

14. Gavin McClurg (USA1) – 308km from goal

15. Richard Brezina (CAN) – 319km from goal

16. Michal Gierlach (POL) – 378km from goal

17. Evgenii Griaznov (RUS) – 457km from goal

18. Jesse Williams (USA2) – 474km from goal

19. Tom de Dorlodot (BEL) – 510km from goal

20. Manuel Nübel (GER2) – withdrawn – 209km from goal

21. Gaspard Petiot (FRA2) – withdrew – 383km from goal

22. Mitch Riley (USA3) – eliminated – 530km from goal

23. Krischa Berlinger (SUI2) – withdrew – 551km from goal

24. Jose Arevalo Guede (ESP) – eliminated – 745km from goal

25. Che Golus (AUS) – withdrew – 773km from goal

26. Aaron Durogati (ITA1) – withdrew – 776km from goal

27. Duncan Kotze (RSA) – eliminated – 832km from goal

28. Claudio Heidel Schemberger (ARG) – eliminated – 967km from goal

29. Stephan Gruber (AUT2) – withdrew – 984km from goal

30. Antoine Girard (FRA1) – withdrew – 1048km from goal

31. David Liano Gonzalez (MEX) – eliminated – 1059km from goal