X-Alps 2015 route — easier than last time?

We looked at the route of this years X-Alps 2015 and are really looking forward to the race, starting July 5th in Salzburg and ending a couple of days later in Monaco. In our opinion, there is one very big challenge missing from the X-Alps 2013: the crossing of the “Alpenhauptkamm” from the Swiss Canton Valais to the Canton of Berne (Turnpoint Interlaken).

Generally, there is one turnpoint less. That might make the race a bit faster. Turnpoint 3 is this year Chiemsee instead of Wildkogel. In bad conditions, some significant extra hiking altitude will have to me made in the first 250 kilometers before the Zugspitze.

After the Zugspitze, “Cima Tosa” is the next big challenge. While in 2003 Sulden was the turnpoint 5, Cima Tosa/Brenta is only a couple of kilometers more south – air distance! In non-flyable conditions, this can be a decisive moment where physically strong athletes can gain time which will be hard to catch up for the next days.

Once the athletes (also see our interview with Yvonne Date) reached St. Moritz, Swiss pilots might have the extra advantage. Again, depending on the weather, on a good day a skilled and experienced pilot can access the “highway of the alps”, Chur – Andermatt – Furka – Brig (- Zermatt). One-way flights have been made in both directions. This leg can be Chrigel Maurers sprint to the 4th consecutive title, since he showed some impressive flights on that route already. As an alternative, some pilots might (have to) chose the southern route through the Ticino and northern Italy – where strong valley winds can stop the pilots (like Tom de Dorlodot experienced in his X-Alps training 2014).

While in 2013 pilots had to go to Interlaken, now they can fly directly to Zermatt. We think, this potentially makes the X-Alps faster and shorter (in time) than last time. But probably the goal is only to not let Chrigel Maurer benefit from even more experience in his home area Interlaken and allow all pilots to be fast on this leg.

A tiny change is that instead of the famous St. Hilaire, now Annecy is on the road to Monaco. We expect a hard fight between the French pilots on this last leg and breathtaking live-tracking sessions in front of the computer…

What is your opinion on this editions turnpoints? Easier or harder than 2013?

Video of the X-Alps 2015 route:

by Red Bull

Chrigel Maurer talking about the 2015 route of the X-Alps – by Red Bull

X-Alps 2015 route

X-Alps 2015 route

X-Alps 2013 route

X-Alps 2013 route

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