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The Austrian Markus Bendler climbing to victory in Kirov, Russia
Photo by Arch Markus Bendler
Angelika Rainer, Ice World Cup Saas Fee 2009
Photo by Lukasz Warzecha
The first stage of the Ice Climbing World Cup 2010 in Kirov, Russia
Photo by A. Paun, UIAA
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Ice World Cup 2010, Kirov and Valle di Daone


The best ice climbers in the world will gather in Valle di Daone (Trentino) this weekend for the second stage of the Ice Climbing World Cup 2010. The athletes to beat are Angelika Rainer from Italy and Markus Bendler from Austria, winner of the first stage last weekend in Kirov, Russia.

For the last nine years Valle di Daone with its famous Ice Master has been at the very center of the ice climbing competition movement. What is certain is that once again much is expected of this classic competition with ice axes and crampons. Firstly because Daone has always made experiments and given impulse to this young discipline. And secondly because in its by now legendary ice stadium some of the sport's finest have made their appearance, from Daniel Dulac to Harald Berger, via Bubu Bole, Simon Anthamatten, Ines Papert, Anna Torretta and Jenny Lavarda to name but a few. The ice and dry tooling panels in Daone stand testament to some of their epic battles, and you can bet that the menu for the second stage of the Ice Climbing World Cup will be just as good.

The start will be given by the leaders Angelika Rainer and Markus Bendler. The young climber from Meran is not only Italian Champion but also reigning World Champion, and she started her season in style by winning the first stage in Russia's Kirov last weekend. The same holds true for the Austrian who is a sort of hero in Daone: the reigning World Champion has won two of the last three Daone editions which helped him reap last year's World Cup. In Kirov these two climbers beat the Russians Alexey Dengin and Vasily Terekhin, and Liudmila Badalyan and Anna Gallyamova, second and third respectively. The only other Italian in the competition, Herbert Klammer, finished an excellent 5th. The Speed competition was won the the Russians Nadezda Shubina e Maxim Vlasov.

Naturally the second round in Daone will be a game of trying to topple the throne: all athletes will try to usurp Bendler and Rainer and also all the others who scored points last weekend. The Italian line-up includes, other than Herbet Klammer (who has always done extremely well in Daone), also Kurt Astner, another strong South Tyrolean and old hat in competitions but above all mountain routes of all sorts. They will be joined in the sun (pardon, on the ice) by a host of other athletes from 12 different nations.

Before the games begin, a thought goes to the legendary Ice Climbing Stadium in Daone which, as usual, has been designed by the engineer and mountain guide Maurizio Gallo, together with the fundamental support of the Daone volunteers. 2010 could be the last year of this historic area, since Daone is already designing a new stadium for Ice Master of the future. Word has it that it's all technological. Like that in Busteni in Romania... So that'll be the end of hand-crafted ice. And the long nights out in the open, waiting for the ice to form. In short, the era of pioneers will come to an end. And in some respects, we'll miss it.

Results Kirov 2010
Women's Lead
1. Angelika Rainer, Italy
2. Liudmila Badalyan, Russia
3. Anna Gallyamova, Russia

Men's Lead
1. Markus Bendler, Austria
2. Alexey Dengin, Russia
3. Vasily Terekhin, Russia

Women's Speed
1. Nadezda Shubina, Russia
2. Irina Bagaeva, Russia
3. Nadezda Gallyamova, Russia

Men's Speed
1. Maxim Vlasov, Russia
2. Vlad Golub, Russia
3. Igor Fayzullin, Russia





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