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Crespi and Eiter win in Bulgaria


The Lead Worldcup 2005 started in Bulgaria's Veliko Tarnovo last weekend and was won by Italian Flavio Crespi and Austrian Angela Eiter.

The Difficulty World Cup 2005 started in Bulgaria's Veliko Tarnovo last weekend and was won by Italian Flavio Crespi and Austrian Angela Eiter.

The competition, apart from confirming Crespi's great form (this is his second WC victory) and Eiter's absolute leadership, held a series of surprises in store. Such as 19 year old Jorg Verhoeven's great second place; after winning the Junior title in 2004, the flying Dutchman couldn't have got off to a better start in the senior category. And Cédric Lachat returned to a podium position, a year to date after his 2nd place in the 2004 WC in Puurs. But perhaps the most surprising positive result is that of Ivailo Krastev, who was lifted into 4th place by the home crowd. His best previous result was 17th in the European Championship way back in 2000... But that's not all! The nicest surprise of all was the unexpected return of Yuji Hirayama who re-debuted with an incredible 6th place. Let's hope the cat-like Japanese continues, he's simply too spectacular to watch.

All these novelties obviously come at a price. The brunt of the reverse side of the coin was felt by the French squad which, for once, performed somewhat under par. Had it not been for Caroline Ciavaldini's second place in the women's event, things would have turned into a true debacle: none of the men qualified for the final, Sylvain Millet finished best at 15th, while Alexandre Chabot slipped to 29th, the last in the Semifinal. The dominator of the last 3 World Cups had never fared so badly, and the only (mere) consolation is that his greatest rival, Tomàs Mrazek, placed 9th, while the two Spaniards Usobiaga and Puigblanque had to make do with 7th and 8th respectively. But regardless of how one interprets it, this is an incredible, unbelievable result. And we're sure that the tune will change in the next competition.

The women's competition was much more tranquil, with results more in line with forecasts. Eiter's victory and Ciavaldini's 2nd place is joined by a 3rd place at the hands of Natalija Gros, 4th place for Muriel Sarkany eand 5th for Maja Vidmar. These results indicate that 2005 may truly be the season of the changing of the guards, in which Sarkany will have to fend off not just Eiter. Perhaps the greatest surprise in the women's event was that no athlete topped out in the Semifinal. Not many men reached the finishing jug either, and only men Crespi, Verhoeven, Lachat and Usobiaga topped out in the that round. In the Final Flavio Crespi and Verhoeven climbed head and shoulders above the rest, who stopped much, much further down!

The long 2005 season is composed of 10 events. The next WC Difficulty is just around the corner, on 29-30 April at Puurs in Belgium. This weekend we'll be just that bit wiser!

Veliko Tarnovo (Bulgaria)
Final results men
1 Crespi Flavio ITA
2 Verhoeven Jorg NED
3 Lachat Cédric SUI
4 Krastev Ivailo BUL
5 Zardini Luca ITA
6 Hirayama Yuji JPN
7 Usobiaga Patxi ESP
8 Puigblanque Ramón Julián ESP
9 Mrázek Tomás CZE
10 Petrenko Maxim UKR
11 Garbov Kalin BUL
12 Dugit Fabien FRA
13 Preußler Timo GER
14 Oleksy Tomasz POL
15 Millet Sylvain FRA
16 Repcik Juraj SVK
16 Videnovski Milen BUL
18 Marin Garcia Eduard ESP
19 Vinokur Vadim USA
20 Winkler Daniel SUI
21 Lalov Boyko BUL
22 Droetto Fabrizio ITA
23 Sharafutdinov Dmitry RUS
24 Hoppe Markus GER
25 Lazarov Blagovest BUL
26 Avramov Stefan BUL
26 Kaourov Ivan RUS
28 Ito Hidekazu JPN
29 Chabot Alexandre FRA
30 Magin Philipp GER
30 Tishchenko Andriy UKR
32 Fuselier Mickael FRA
33 Sadyrov Marat RUS
33 Zhao Lei CHN
35 Becan Klemen SLO
35 Desgranges Romain FRA
37 Ovtchinnikov Evgueni RUS
38 Stosic Milos SCG

Final results women
1 Eiter Angela AUT
2 Ciavaldini Caroline FRA
2 Gros Natalija SLO
4 Sarkany Muriel BEL
5 Vidmar Maja SLO
6 Krivonos Olena UKR
7 Kobayashi Yuka JPN
8 Lavarda Jenny ITA
9 Januel Caroline FRA
10 Minoret Chloé FRA
11 Franko Lucjia SLO
12 Bacher Barbara AUT
12 Eyer Alexandra SUI
14 Graftiaux Chloé BEL
15 Saurwein Katharina AUT
16 Ostapenko Alena UKR
16 Raffetseder Gerda AUT
18 Yakovleva Olga RUS
19 Shalahina Olha UKR
20 Giroux Elodie FRA
21 Djambazova Ina BUL
22 Ruh Nadine GER
23 Dobrota Gabriela SCG
24 Garbova Petya BUL
25 Bakalova Plamena BUL
26 Kojuharova Cveta BUL
27 Kutinska Siana BUL
Flavio Crespi

World Cup Difficulty 2005

1st round
Veliko Tarnovo (BUL)
23-24 April

Angela Eiter
Photos: Flavio Crespi and Angela Eiter (Rock Master Arco)
ph Giulio Malfer - 2004

Difficulty 2005
1.Veliko Tarnovo
World Cup 2004





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