Puigblanque and Eiter win the XXI Rock Master. Flavio Crespi a fantastic second.
On 09/09/2007 Ramon Julian Puigblanque from Spain and Angela Eiter from Austria won Rock Master 2007. Flavio Crespi from Italy and Tomas Mrazek from the Czech Republic placed second and third respectively, as did Maja Vidmar from Slovenia and Irati Anda Villanueva from Spain.
Today’s XXI Rock Master was won by Ramon Julien Puigblanque from Spain and Angela Eiter from Austria. In what turned out to be a thrilling final Flavio Crespi finished the closest second possible, just a hair’s breadth away from the historic first-ever Italian victory.
Eiter’s victory this sunny Sunday afternoon is her 4th Rock Master win in 5 competition appearances, and this result places her up among all-time greats such as FranÃ§ois Legrand and just a step away from “Queen” Lynn Hill, the only athlete capable of dominating a staggering 5 times. Puigblanque on the other hand brings his tally to three in a row, and this domination is indicative of the small Catalan’s nigh unlimited power.
The competition was fabulous, one seen rarely in the entire competition circuit. Filled to the brim with twists and turns, unexpected surprises and superlative routes set by Leonardo Di Marino and Donato Lella, the event convinced the fantastic crowd who never ceased to cheer the athletes up towards the top. They were rewarded completely with 26 year old Ramon Julian Puigblanque’s single top in today’s redpoint which, added to yesterday’s, proved he could simply do no better.
27 year old Flavio Crespi placed second by the smallest of margins. The Italian champion topped out yesterday together with Puigblanque and today he fell touching, but not holding, the finishing jug. His fantastic Italian second place has only ever been equaled way back in 1987 by Luisa Iovane and a decade later by Cristian Brenna. And now, another ten year’s on, It’s Crespi’s turn to finally take silver.
Puigblanque’s performance was truly fantastic as what that of Crespi who, by a hair’s breadth, settled for 2nd. “I’ll try again next year” exclaimed Crespi, “also to honour this amazing crowd who supported me all the way.” Crespi beat formidable calibre athlete such as “terminator” Tomas Mrazek from the Czech Republic and the 17 year old Austro-Nepalese phenomenon David Lama. Paxti Usobiaga from Spain’s Basque country placed 5th, while current World Cup leader Jorg Verhoeven placed 6th, just ahead of 35 year old Luca Zardini from Italy who climbed superbly today against the best in the world to place 7th.
Yesterday Angela Eiter had battled superbly to almost reach the top; today she did just the same, climbing perfectly as only she does on the afterwork route to just miss the finishing hold. Her greatest rival Maja Vidmar partially made up for yesterday’s on-sight slip with a near miss just in front of the chain, producing her best performance in Arco to date and finishing 2nd overall. She was followed by this year’s revelation, Irati Anda Villanueva who finished third, while yesterday’s prime mover Emily Harrington fell low unfortunately, slipping from provisional 2nd to 5th overall.
The competition finished off withthe Ennio Lattisi Dual Trophy, the classic head-to-head against the best four finalists. Angela Eiter sprinted against Mina Markovic, while Maja Vidmar had to battle against Irati Anda Villanueva, with a surprise at 3⁄4 height: a massive dyno which produced the most spectacular dual to date. Eiter beat Markovic and Irati surprise eliminated Vidmar… the final couldn’t have been better, with an unleashed Irati Anda dynoing past champion Eiter and then holding on to the lead to the finish. Fantastic!
And the men’s Dual was exciting, too. David Lama invented a dynamic first round against Puigblanque, while Mrazek eliminated Crespi. In the Dual for bronze Puigblanque got the better of Crespi, while Mrazek climbed faster than lightening to win his second consecutive Lattisi Trophy.
For a brief moment it seemed as if today would finally be the day for the first Italian to win the Rock Master, but in the final seconds of the competition this dream slipped just a few centimeters out of reach. But this Master was truly fantastic, one that will be remembered for a long time to come, thanks to the 6000 spectators and thanks to a Rock Master at its best and more exciting than ever before!
This XXI Rock Master will remain etched in people's memories - other than because of Flavio Crespi's above mentioned near miss – largely because of the fact that it was such an enthralling event. All credit must go to both the Team Rock Master, which makes the event happen, and the spectators who, year after year, make the Climbing Stadium lawn the parterre for the world's most fascinating and historic climbing competitions. Truly unmissable!
Results Rock Master 2007 Men
1) Ramon Julian Puigblanque (Esp) n. 1981
2) Flavio Crespi (Ita) n. 1980
3) Tomas Mrazek (Cze) n. 1982
4) David Lama (Aut) n. 1990
5) Patxi Usobiaga (Esp) n. 1980
6) Jorg Verhoeven (Ned) n. 1985
7) Luca Zardini (Ita) n. 1972
8) Fabien Dugit (Fra) n. 1984
9) Bindhammer Christian (Ger) n. 1976
10) Felix NeumÃ¤rker (Ger) n. 1988
11) Sylvain Millet (Fra) n. 1978
Results Rock Master 2007 Women
1) Angela Eiter (Aut) n. 1986
2) Maja Vidmar (Slo) n. 1985
3) Irati Anda Villanueva (Esp) n. 1982
4) Mina Markovic (Slo) n. 1987
5) Emily Harrington (Usa) n. 1986
6) Sandrine Levet (Fra) n. 1982
7) Nataljia Gros (Slo) n. 1984
8) Barbara Bacher (Aut) n. 1982
9) Jenny Lavarda (Ita) n. 1984
10) Katharina Saurwein (Aut) n. 1987
11) Alexandra Eyer (Sui) n. 1981
12) Charlotte Durif (Fra) n. 1990
Results Ennio Lattisi Trophy Men
1) Tomas Mrazek (Cze) n. 1982
2) David Lama (Aut) n. 1990
3) Ramon Julian Puigblanque (Esp) n. 1981
4) Flavio Crespi (Ita) n. 1980
Results Ennio Lattisi Trophy women
1) Irati Anda Villanueva (Esp) n. 1982
2) Angela Eiter (Aut) n. 1986
3) Maja Vidmar (Slo) n. 1985
4) Mina Markovic (Slo) n. 1987
ROCK MASTER TEAM
Institutions: Comune di Arco, Provincia Autonoma di Trento, Regione Trentino Alto Adige Sud Tirol, Ingarda Spa, Azienda Municipale Sviluppo Arco, Cassa Rurale Alto Garda
Sponsors: Cassin, La Sportiva, Salewa, Seat, Sint Roc & Ecogrips, Vertical World Sport
With the contribution of: Soccorso Alpino Guardia Finanza, Ass. Sportiva ArcoClimbing, Guide Alpine Friends of Arco.
Media Partners: Pareti, PlanetMountain, Radio Cortina