Lead World Cup 2012, the stages
The Lead World Cup 2012 begins in mid July with the first stage in Chamonix, France.
Chamonix next week marks the start of the Lead World Cup 2012, a true marathon which in 5 months travels to France, Austria, Belgium, USA, China, Korea, Japan to then finish, as usual, with the final stage at Kranj in Slovenia. Nine stages in total, interrupted only the World Championship in Paris in mid September, and those to look out for in the World Cup are above all last year's winners, Jakob Schubert from Austria and Mina Markovic from Slovenia
With seven victories in 10 stages, 2011 was the year of total domination for Schubert and only towards the end did Sean McColl from Canada and Ramón Julian Puigblanque from Spain manage to show their true worth, the latter even managing to win the World Championship in Arco. A duel between the Austrian and the Spaniard will no doubt be one of the main the themes this season and while there is no news about Schubert, we know that Puigblanque is on fighting form: after his recent repeat of Catxasa 9a+ (with temps up to 39°C!) he also made fast work of Nit de bruixes, that enormous 9a+ roof at Margalef freed by Iker Pou... Obviously rock and competitions are two completely different worlds and impossible to compare, but there can be no doubt that the Catalan is ready to go! Obviously there are numerous other pretenders to the throne, such Sachi Amma from Japan, Thomas Tauporn from Germany and Manuel Romain from France to name but three.
In the women's event Markovic's victory was less clear-cut than Schubert's and her road to victory was marked by numerous draws which didn't help in defining who was the strongest. The fact of the matter is that 2012 title could go to at least another 5 superb athletes: Jain Kim from Korea, Maja Vidmar from Slovenia, and the Austrian team spearheaded by Angela Eiter, Katharina Posch and Johanna Ernst.
As reagrds to the Italian team, we'll keep our fingers crossed for Marcello Bombardi, Stefano Ghisolfi, Leonardo Gontero, Jenny Lavarda, Silvio Reffo and Francesco Vettorata who have all been called up for Chamonix. talking of which: as of yesterday the route setters Adam Puspelnik, Julien Gras, Mickaël Fuselier and Mathieu Dupray are hard at work, inventing the routes which will kick off this highly anticipated World Cup.
COPPA DEL MONDO LEAD 2012 - THE CALENDAR
12./13.07.2012 - Chamonix (FRA) 2012
20./21.07.2012 - Briançon (FRA) 2012
10./11.08.2012 - Imst (AUT) 2012
21./22.09.2012 - Puurs (BEL) 2012
29./30.09.2012 - Atlanta (USA) 2012
12./13.10.2012 - Xining (CHN) 2012
20./21.10.2012 - Mokpo (KOR) 2012
27./28.10.2012 - Inzai (JPN) 2012
17./18.11.2012 - Kranj (SLO) 2012