Two stars of the Red Bull X-Alps have been forced to withdraw from this year’s race.
According to X-Alps organisers Spain’s Ramon Morillas and Australia’s Lloyd Pennicuik have given up their places. In a statement they said:
“Ramon Morillas (ESP) and Lloyd Pennicuik (AUS) have unfortunately withdrawn from the Red Bull Xalps 2011.
Morillas, recently injured himself and underwent an operation on the meniscus of his right knee.
Unfortunately it was found that he had also broken the anterior cruciate ligament.
Due to the seriousness of the injury and the short amount of recovery time between now and the race start on July 17 in Salzburg, Ramon has sadly pulled out of the event.
The statement added: “Lloyd Pennicuik meanwhile has been struggling with “health issues.”
Lloyd told XCMag those “issues” were “nothing serious” and added he hoped to be back for 2013. “I’ll be up and running for the next one,” he said.
Lloyd is a gold prospector in Australia and thinks his body is “still recovering” from a bout of malaria he contracted after working in Papua New Guinea last year.
Race director Christoph Weber said it was “not advisable” for athletes to start the demanding race unless they were 100% fit.
Both athletes competed in the 2007 and 2009 editions of the Red Bull X-Alps. Morillas was ninth in 2009, while Pennicuik’s best result was in 2007 when he was 17th, avoiding elimination.
The decision of both athletes to withdraw means there are now 30 athletes in the race.
The race starts on 17 July 2011 and sees athletes race from Salzburg in Austria to Monaco in the south of France using only paragliders and their running shoes.
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