VIDEO ALERT: Rookie Pinot pushes five-time champion Maurer hard

Courtesy of Red Bull Media Service Team

Maurer’s unbeaten Red Bull X-Alps record under close threat from French rival.

Chrigel Maurer has grown accustomed to having things his own way at Red Bull X-Alps but rookie Maxime Pinot came into the fourth of 13 turn points just 15 minutes behind his Swiss rival.

The pair took off together for the flight to the Italian mountain station of Kronplatz with Pinot putting Maurer’s 100% record in the race under pressure. Here is all you need to know: 

– Despite a strong showing, Pinot was frustrated at having lost time during his flying. He said: “I didn’t fly so well so I’m not too happy. It will be better this afternoon. Lermoos is possible if there is no thunderstorm.”

– There was only a momentary reprieve on the marathon course, a member of his support stuff handing over a filled baguette and biscuits before sending him on his way, facing the challenge of avoiding the no-fly zone around Innsbruck Airport.

– Pinot may be new to the event but, at 27, boasts a wealth of experience as a paragliding instructor and test pilot. He first flew in tandem with his father aged nine and has flown competitively for 13 years. He set his sights on Red Bull X-Alps this year because “it is the most amazing race in the paragliding world”.

– Despite the Frenchman’s strong show early on in the event, Maurer remains the man to beat. Of his flight battle against Pinot, he said: “We took off a bit late but it was a two-hour flight in very good conditions.”

– As a result of beating Pinot, five-time champion Maurer picked up the prestigious Salewa Trophy at turn point four.

– Track the race from Salzburg to Monaco HERE

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