The Last Boulder WC of 2013The last Bouldering World Cup of 2013 was in Munich this past weekend; the competition would not only give a victory to yet another new athlete but also decide the overall rankings for 2013. I came straight from Vancouver on the 22nd and after a solid 10 hour flight I was in Munich at my hotel and prepping for the competition. I stayed in the official hotel mostly because there were free shuttles between that and the venue. Since I didn’t have a car this weekend, I was pretty stuck either at the competition or at the hotel. Throughout the weekend I actually got pretty lucky with people I knew from the competition giving me rides (most notably the Swiss Team, thanks!) [singlepic id=555 w=500 h=350 float=center] Joining me at the final stage of the season was fellow Canadians Sebastian Lazure, Marieta Akalski, Jelisa Dunbar and Thomasina Pidgeon. There was no shuttle for the technical meeting so I chilled in my room, tried to adjust with jet lag and finally slept for qualifiers. The men were in the morning with the women’s in the late afternoon. The qualifiers went very well for me. I “dropped” to 2nd in the World Ranking but since there were two groups I still went out first in one of the groups. It’s always a big strange going in the first 4-5 climbers in the groups. You never know if the boulders are going to be easy or hard. You just have to relax, climb well and hopefully top some boulders. I’ve seen qualifications in World Cups where 4 bonuses get you through the semis. On the opposite side, I’ve seen people do all 5 boulders and not advance. We all try not to think about this and just climb and have fun. I’ve by default hidden my qualifierse recap if you want to skip to semis! Click the “Show Me” to expand it.
The first boulder was pretty normal. First few moves weren’t too hard, and then the last one was really weird. You were on two volumes with jibs on them and no good way to match. I just committed to dynoing for the last hold and my right arm instinctively came onto the last volume as I jumped. I stuck the move and flashed the first boulder. Interestingly enough I was only 1 of 2 climbers to top this first boulder. Thomas Tauporn from Germany who went out 7th was the only other climber to do it. The second boulder was fun and I flashed it as well. After doing these two boulders I felt like I was in my competition groove. I failed pretty hard on the 3rd boulder, not even making the bonus… So much for that groove I guess 🙂 It was a strange reverse start with an awkward top. I felt like I was close but I just wasn’t feeling it on that problem. I also felt like it was hard enough that it wouldn’t see too many tops. I also knew that the climbers were struggling on the first problem so it wasn’t going to jeopardize advancing to semifinals. The 4th problem was cool as well and I walked away with a flash. It started with a hard start on a fat pinch then climbed through two volumes. I even snuck in a knee bar while doing the last move. The 5th and last problem of qualifiers was just weird. What looked like an obvious sequence turned out to be one of the hardest boulders. I read the boulder, tried it and fell. Then I spent a few tries trying to jump with my left hand and kept falling. I tried to time my rests but it’s frustrating to always fall on the first move. I tried to choke up on the left volume, tried to mantle and tried jumping again. My time was running out and I had under 30 seconds left. I tried it one last time, this time jumping with my right hand. It stuck and my left arm again instinctively grabbed the left volume. I knew this would be interesting. I checked the clock and saw 0:12 seconds left with two more moves to go. Plenty of time right? I did the next move to the zone, and the last move felt impossible. The zone hold was so bad I just wanted to skip it and jump to the top. It was a super slopy kind of crimp with a slightly better thumb. I went back down a move and wiped my hand on my pants. I looked at the clock again and it said 0:05 seconds. Now or never I guess. I pre placed my feet for the last move, moved up into the zone and just jumped at the last hold. I knew if I could touch the finish, I’d stick it. I did it pretty well and matched as quickly as I could. I heard the countdown starting, and I knew I had done it in time, but it was pretty close!I qualified first in my group tied with Thomas. [singlepic id=558 w=500 h=350 float=center] In the afternoon, the girls went and they were all spaced by enough climbers that by the time Marieta got to the third problem, we had 3 Canadians all climbing at the same time! Jelisa even managed to top her first world cup problem finishing the best of our girls at 38th. Semifinals were the next morning and I did everything the same as the qualifiers. Pretty soon I was ready to do the first boulder. The first one was weird, a sideways traverse to a jump finish. It took me 5 tries to do the problem, but I eventually figured it out. What sucked is that a lot of climbers skipped every hold and just climbed up the corner from the start holds to the finish. That was a small mistake by the route setters. [singlepic id=560 w=300 h=450 float=right] The second boulder was straight slab. It didn’t look complicated but I didn’t figure it out in time. I spent some time trying to crimp the edge, my foot slipped a couple times and the one time I was close to doing the boulder, I was just too tired. I had to walk away from that one underachieved. It was also hard trying that boulder knowing that the climber just before me, Kilian Fischhuber, also couldn’t do it. Third boulder was the nicest of the round. My hands kind of dry fired on the second move and I sent it second go. Just before going back behind the wall, I checked the scoreboard and knew I had to top the last boulder to make finals. I thought only 1 or 2, or maybe no one had done the last boulder but in my mind I told myself it was possible. I had to! It turns out the 4th boulder was impossible. Well at least in 5 minutes for those 20 athletes… I tried very hard and I felt like I was close. It was a weird mantle with a jump finish. Another mistake by the route setters was the the “only” way to do the boulder was to crimp the edge of the volume and mantle like that. Unfortunate for me and as my time ran out, I knew I’d be finishing 8th. I thought about the incredible season that I’ve already had and the fact that I still loved competing. I was disappointed about missing finals, but happy to be here, doing what I love and competing. I waved at the crowd one last time, knowing the 2013 World Cup Season was coming to a close! Overall, the semis were hard; I made a couple small mistakes that cost me the finals but still finished 8th. [singlepic id=559 w=500 h=350 float=center] Not a bad round, not a good round, but just outside the finals once again! It’s a big frustrating when you know you’re out of finals, but I realized all this very quickly. When I checked the results closer, a lot of the very strong climbers who are normally in finals were also out. Kilian Fischhuber and Jakob Schubert from Austria finished 14th and 10th respectively. Cedric Lachat from Switzerland was 11th and German favourite Jan Hojer was 7th. The final round was very good (barring Men’s problem 1) and exciting all the way to the last competitor. After all the dust had settled, Anna Stohr had won her 7th World Cup of 2013 with Alex Puccio and Shauna Coxsey completing the podium. On the men’s side, underdog Rei Sugimoto had an amazing finals and took his first victory (and first podium) with Thomas Tauporn and Rustam Gelmanov completing the podium on that side. Mens Results HERE Womens Results HERE Between semifinals and finals, I had 4 hours so I crunched the numbers for the overall 2013 Bouldering World Cup. Everyone knew that Dimitrii had won even before the competition but 2nd and 3rd were up for grabs. When I finished 8th, I didn’t think I had a short anymore but most interestingly I was still in the race. The race before the competition started was between 6 different athletes (Me, Jakob, Guillaume, Jorg, Rustam and Kilian). All 6 of us had enough points to be 2nd or 3rd which was pretty exciting. Of those 6 people, 2 missed semis and another 3 missed finals. I crunched the numbers and found Jakob in second with me in third. The only one with an unknown number was Rustam! I had to check all 6 places for Rustam and what I found was pretty interesting. If Rustam was 1st, he’d come 2nd in the overall and for every place he went down in finals, he dropped one place in the overall. (To 5th place overall). Complicated, yes. I watched the finals without caring too much about how he was doing, but when I realized he was only able to be 3rd or 4th in the finals, I knew I had come 3rd in the overall rankings! [singlepic id=557 w=500 h=350 float=center] Mens Overall Rankings HERE Womens Overall Rankings HERE This is the overall podium for the women! [singlepic id=561 w=500 h=350 float=center] This was the first time I’ve been on the podium for one single event. I’ve finished in 2nd place (twice, 2011, 2012) in the Overall world cup rankings that take the top-5 finishes from Lead, Speed and Boulder but I’ve never been top-3 in one individually. I also end up missing one or two world cups every year in every discipline which usually makes the overall title hard for me to be competitive for. Even this year I didn’t go the first one of the year which means that would be the one that I got to drop. It’s never been much of a goal of mine to be on the overall podium but it was a really feeling regardless. It’s nice to have that personal achievement of 3rd place in the 2013 Bouldering circuit! After a pretty good after-party which included dinner and free beer, I traveled back to France where I get a nice rest for just over 10 days. I’ve been traveling for almost 30 days now including my trips to Colombia, Austria, Canada and then Munich! I’ll be heading to the Gorges Du Tarn this weekend once again to try a couple projects I spotted last time I was there!
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