150 extreme sportsmen and women, four demanding disciplines, immensely challenging stages and a Czech victory. On Saturday the ninth edition of the outdoortrophy, claimed as one of the world’s hardest team competitions, took place in Lingenau/Vorarlberg (Austria).
The eyes of the entire extreme sports world were focused on the Bregenzerwald (Vorarlberg, Austria) last weekend. World and European champions, men and women, pros and amateurs and top athletes from 10 nations battled it out for the unofficial outdoor sports world championship in the ninth edition of the outdoortrophy.
The relay competition, which includes mountain running, paragliding, wild water kayaking and mountain biking, is claimed to be one of the hardest in the world. The weather gods were kind: the athletes were able to complete their fight against the elements in perfect water and wind conditions.
The extremely high level of the competition was clear right from the outset at the start of the mountain running race from the centre of the village of Egg. Mountain running world champion Helmut Schiessl was there as were top Italian athlete Gerd Frick (Zermatt marathon winner) and the two Czech mountain running stars Jan Havlicek and Robert Krupicka. The latter was the fastest to complete the 12 kilometre race with its 1,100 meter altitude difference, managing it in 1:06 hours to take his team “Opavanet / Tilak” into the lead ahead of Czech runners-up “Speed 8” and Schiessl’s team “Land Rover Team Hörburger”.
Krupicka handed over to paraglider Jan Skrabalek, who managed to defend the team’s lead with the second best time in this stage. The fastest flyer was Austrian Jakob Herrmann (Land Rover Team Hörburger) who took his team to second place. There was even more excitement to come: kayaker Tomas Slovak, who was first into the water, was also the first to hand over to the mountain bikers and the field became even tighter in his wake.
Austria’s national kayaking champion Gerhard Schmid, a member of “Telekom Team Südtirol” who were in fact favourites to win, battled his way through the rapids to gain a top time, taking his team to third place and handing over to Italian Hannes Pallhuber so that he could launch a final attack on the 31.4 km mountain biking stage. But the favourites didn’t live up to expectations.
Exceptional mountain biker Jaroslav Kulhavy secured victory for his team “Opavanet / Tilak” with a lead of three minutes and four seconds on the start to finish time – the first Czech triumph in nine years of outdoortrophy. Czech victory was completed by “Speed 8” taking second place; Pallhuber and team “Telekom Südtirol” had to be satisfied with bronze