The 28th edition of Red Bull Dolomitenmann was a closely run contest that culminated in Team Kleine Zeitung winning by just two minutes on home soil in Austria, with the Red Bull and Vita-Life teams coming second and third respectively.
The town of Lienz played host to the demanding relay race, which saw 125 brave runners set off at 10am for a sprint up the 1,000m Kuehbodentoerl mountain. Eritrean athlete Petro Mamu was the star of the running leg, setting a new course record of 1:20.03 and putting Team Kleine Zeitung in pole position for the handover.
The paragliders then took over, running the rest of the way to the top of the mountain for the second leg before a two-stage descent into Dolomiten Stadium. The first to arrive was Christian Maurer, from Team Vita-Life. The Swiss paraglider was clearly still in top flying form from winning this year's Red Bull X-Alps and gave his team-mate Juri Ragnoli a head start going into the mountain-bike leg of the event.
Ragnoli managed to defend his team's lead throughout the uphill mountain-bike course, with its brutal altitude gain of 1,400m. Team Vita-Life were still in the lead at the handover as Stephan Brodicky took over for the final leg of Red Bull Dolomitenmann, which involves kayaking along the River Isel before a soaking-wet sprint across the main square in Lienz while carrying the boat to the finish line.
Many entrants believe the wildwater kayaking section of the course is the toughest, and this is where the lead changed hands once again. Manuel Filzwieser of Team Kleine Zeitung and Harald Hudetz from the Red Bull team managed to catch up with Brodicky after the gruelling upstream sections of the course and took full advantage of the downhill slalom to defend their lead.
Team Kleine Zeitung stayed in front to claim victory with a time of 04h 07m 57s, edging out the Red Bull team, who finished in 04h 09m 38s. Team Vita-Life crossed the finish line after 04h 10m 14s. It is the second time Kleine Zeitung have won Red Bull Dolomitenmann, having first claimed victory here in 2013.
Red Bull Dolomitenmann results
1. Kleine Zeitung – 04h 07m 57s
2. Red Bull – 04h 09m 38s
3. Vita-Life – 04h 10m 14s
4. Rise & Fall – 04h 10m 53s
5. Pure Encapsulations I – 04h 13m 17s
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