WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE 2015 RED BULL X-ALPS ATHLETE LINE-UP
There's currently 31 names on the entry list (and one yet-to-be-named wildcard entry). A dozen of those names – like Paul Guschlbauer (AUT1), Toma Coconea (ROU) and Tom de Dorlodot (BEL) – should be familiar, as they were in the 2013 (or previous) editions of the race. But 19 of the competitors will be lining up at the start line in Salzburg for the first time.
While the last four editions of the race have featured a male-only lineup, the fairer sex has been included in the Red Bull X-Alps before, back in 2005. In 2014, the gals make their return to the lineup, with Dawn Westrum (USA3) and Yvonne Dathe (GER2) getting ready to race. It's a known fact that women are have a natural predilection for endurance sports, so we're looking forward to watching these two ladies battle the Alps.
This year's rookie class is anything but inexperienced. Nelson de Freyman (FRA3) was on the race route last year as a supporter for Antoine Girard (FRA2), potentially giving him unique insight into navigation decisions. Gavin McClurg (USA2) owns the North American foot launch record (387km on a single flight) and has completed numerous vol-bivvy trips in extremely remote mountain ranges.
Yep, we may have waited till the end of yesterday's roll call to say his name, but make no mistake: Chrigel 'the Eagle' Maurer (SUI1) is back for his fourth Red Bull X-Alps – and he'll be going for his fourth win in a row. Last year's seven-day sprint to Monaco was arguably the most legendary performance the race has ever seen – can the Swiss pilot pull it off again? We'll only know in Monaco.