The Bouldering World Cup 2010 stayed gripping up to the last problem! Munich's '72 Olympic stadium provided a worthy location for the final event. Of all the potential winners, only Chloé Graftiaux dropped the ball and didn't make it to the finals. In the finals Akiyo Noguchi won by the narrowest margin possible - Anna Stöhr needed one more try for the only problem the girls could climb in the finals.
Route setting was very "russian style" as many competitors put it, meaning rather rock like moves on bad holds, what tends to favor either, well, russians or … rock climbers. Since Adam Ondra is the best rock climber in the world right now It was no surprise than that he won the event and with it the overall Boulder World Cup 2010.
As usual you can check out the results here. We rather let the (moving) pictures do the talking, so watch our clip below and stay tuned for our route setting survey video among the top competitors here very soon! For our reports of the 6 previous Boulder World Cups please read on ...
Boulder WC 2010 report #6 - Sheffield
The Sheffield Boulder World Cup 2010 was a lovely event taking place in a circus tent on a grassy fairground. Fortunately weather forecasts were wrong and we enjoyed perfect english boulder conditions! Good news for the last BWC in Munich on the last weekend of July: almost every outcome is still possible with Adam Ondra winning and Kilian Fischhuber not being in the finals for the first time this year! Same is true with the girls where Sheffield winner Chloé Graftiaux, third place Akiyo Noguchi and Anna Stöhr (not in the finals this time) all still can win the Boulder World Cup 2010!
We were not entirely happy with the route setting this time and show longer takes of the actual climbing than on previous "Boulder WC reports" to make our point. Specifically, we thought the girls' problems were too reach depended and we are not excited about those "pro-forma-two-hands-on-something-pseudo-tops" (watch for the yellow dihedral and Anna Stöhr falling off three times in the clip above!). To discuss route setting, please join our route setting group on Facebook. Also stay tuned for our thorough analysis of the "State of the Art of route setting" later this year!
On another technical note concerning our "Boulder World Cup 2010 reports" - they walk a fine line between being "out fast" and "interesting & informative". Yes, lower thirds with competitors names would be nice, but mind you, these clips are edited by me immediately after returning from the very draining comps and are meant to give an inside view into how boulder problems were solved and to show differences among the competitors. You can always look up how the comp went as well as the actual rankings on http://www.ifsc-climbing.org if you don't know the faces by now. Stay posted for a "Making-of the Boulder WC 2010 reports" with lots of background footage after the last World Cup in Munich on these pages too!
Boulder WC 2010 report #5 - Eindhoven
Excellent route setting for the boys and girls, flawless organization and super psyched and funny hosts Joost Hofman and Steven van Lummel made Eindhoven 2010 the emotional highlight of the boulder season so far. The world cup indeed is going to be a exciting affair - you never know whats going to happen when a climber steps onto the podium! While Alex Johnson, Chloé Graftiaux, Jain Kim and many of the previously strong boys got stuck in the semi finals (or earlier!), Kilian Fischhuber and Anna Stöhr apparently have identical looking twins that help them out when they can't do a problem. Honestly, their ability to not get too depressed by even the most disapointing falls and start the next problem with a positive attitude is in a class of its own! Kilian's third place secures him the lead in the overall ranking, a position that Anna also holds after her victory in Eindhoven. Everyone who witnessed all the events so far realizes how much harder it is to win the overall world cup than any single event!
Check out our video below, find the complete results here and read on for previous (video) reports...
Boulder WC 2010 report #4 - Moscow
Moscow - what an adventure! Not the comp, that was organized really well at a nice location in a huge parc. But getting there and back through this 9-30 million people (nobody knows) Moloch was interesting for most teams! Routesetting was okay with an emphasis on sharp crimps, favoring climbers with a long reach. Adam Ondra has a long reach and made it clear from round one on that Moscow 2010 would be his first Bouldering World Cup victory. Nobody could touch him on most of the problems.
With the girls it was much more diverse again. We saw a Natalija Gros that smoked all the others in the qualification round and somehow had lost it all the next morning in the semifinals. For Chloé Graftiaux it went just the other way around with one of her worst performances in the first round and a second place in the finals. Talking of the girls finals, they were downright confusing with winner Anna Stöhr, Chloé and the again amazing Ja-In Kim all having their different weak and strong moments in different problems. (It would have helped if the organizers had used their impressive LCD panels for making things clear, but, I guess you can't have it all, impressive panels AND information.)
At the end, it was all good though with Anna securing her first World Cup victory of the year. Because of the parc location there was a huge audience and the finalists had to sign lots of autographs for the enthusiastic crowd! Find the results here, read on for Vail, Vienna and Greifensee reports and watch our video below! (featuring our adventures in the Moscow Metro;-)
Boulder WC 2010 report #3 - Vail
Perfect bouldering conditions, an impressively high wall and very interesting route setting - Vail felt like a Highlight of the 2010 Bouldering World Cup so far! To keep things interesting, Kilian Fischhuber had a painful but (hopefully) harmless accident just before the comp. It would have been interesting to compare a 100% fit Kilian to the impressive Daniel Woods on that wall. Daniel was the only one to complete problem #2 in the finals and was the undisputed winner. For the future, lets all hope for a Ondra-Woods-Fischhuber-Hori conference with Jernej Kruder (wow, what a performance !!!) and any of the strong British and French boys thrown in for comparision!
Three of last years strongest are not showing their true potential yet, if Jonas Baumann, Gabri Moroni and Rustam Gelmanov will wake up the Boulder WC picks up even more steam.
When in Vienna everybody thought the Asian girls' patience and precission was the only key to success, in Vail things were quite different. Problems were burly and you had to move fast. Anna Stöhr is in a class of her own in that style, using momentum like none of the other girls. She didn't win the comp because of a slip on a slab and marks the other end of the spectrum from the Asian style. Right in the middle style wise sits female winner Chloé Graftiaux who climbs equally well in all styles and has the least weaknesses. Fingers crossed for up-to-the task route setting when the Johnson-Stöhr-Graftiaux-Wurm-Kim-Noguchi-Puccio-Oda etc. etc. conference takes place since the female events seem to be more determined by the quality of the route setting! Whoever route setter wants to be voted "route setter of the season" will be judged by his Girls problems!
As usual, find the complete results here. Read on for Vienna and Greifensee reports and for picture galleries...
Boulder WC 2010 report #2 - Vienna
Have to keep that short since I'm already halfway on the plane to Colorado for next weekends event in Vail. Before reading this though, please read about the tragic accident that happened to Boulder World Champ 2005 Salavat Rakhmetov's 5-year-old daughter, Zalia, who sustained severe injuries when she was hit by a falling rock at a crag in Turkey. An accident that can happen to any of us, any time. Surgery, treatment and transportation is very expensive, so please help by donating money, if you can.
Back to Vienna: Kilian won by a bigger margin this time, doing one more problem than Adam in the semis as well as in the finals. The girls' problems seemed to be more attractive to me and we saw a stunning display of asian bouldering style by Akiyo Noguchi, Momoka Oda and the very impressive Ja-In Kim from Korea. Stay tuned for next weekends report of Vail or read on what happened at the first Boulder WC in Greifensee ...
Boulder WC 2010 report #1 - Greifensee
The Boulder World Cup 2010 will be a thrilling affair, at least for the boys! Current champion Kilian Fischhuber and wonder boy Adam Ondra tied at the finals in Switzerland's Greifensee with Kilian winning because his better semi final performance. Bouldering contests are much more experience dependend than lead events. After floating through the qualification and most of the semi final problems, Adam temporarily lost it (the clip shows him on problem #3 and #4) and looked like, well, the seventeen year old boy that he actually is!
In the finals though he gave Kilian a tough run for the money. Very impressevely Kilian dealt with the pressure of Adam flashing problem #3 and #4. It will be very interesting to observe this duell over the course of the season.
As for the girls, Jacky Godoffe's less than inspired route setting in my opinion left a lot to be desired. For the future there is quite some room for improvement to get the girl problems up the standard of the boys. It was a close decission between current champion Akiyo Noguchi, Chloé Graftiaux and the final winner, Alex Johnson from the States.
Get more info and the results here and see you in Vienna on May 28!