Organisers of the Red Bull X-Alps have announced that Australia’s Lloyd Pennicuik has withdrawn from this year’s race. First time athlete Michal Krysta will take his place.
Additionally, X-Alps veteran Andy Frötscher has been given a wildcard place.
In a statement the Red Bull X-Alps team said:
Lloyd Pennicuik (AUS) has been forced to withdraw from the 2013 Red Bull X-Alps. The Australian gold prospector, who competed in 2007 and 2009, has reluctantly dropped out due to unforeseen circumstances.
He said: “I am pulling out of the Red Bull X-Alps for personal reasons. I thought about waiting to see if my circumstances change but this is unfair. I’d prefer to give someone else a chance. I’m gutted, but hopefully I’ll be back in 2015. I wish all the athletes the best of luck.”
He will be replaced by first-time athlete Michal Krysta (CZE) while Red Bull X-Alps veteran Andy Frötscher (ITA3) gains a place thanks to a wildcard entry. It brings the total number of competitors to 32.
Frötscher will be well known to fans having competed in every edition of the Red Bull X-Alps. But Krysta is a new face. He’s flown for the Czech national team at the 2011-2012 Paragliding World Cup as well as participated in the Czech league and national championships. But he’s also a serious adventurer. In the Himalayas he’s made an attempt on the forbidding north face of Changabang, 6,864m and flown from Annapurna’s Base Camp to Kathmandu.
He said: “I’m really excited to take part. The Red Bull X-Alps is a race I’ve wanted to do for ten years. I’ve done some big adventures but this will be the challenge of a lifetime. I can’t wait to get to the start line. Bring it on!”
• Got news? Send it to us at email@example.com