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Daniel Dulac new European Bouldering Champion

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At Lecco the Frenchman wins the European Bouldering Championship 2004, ahead of Andrew Earl from Great Britain and Gabriele Moroni from Italy.

Daniel Dulac, campionati Eurpei Boulder lecco

24 June 2004
Lecco, Piazza Cermenati. European Bouldering Championsip.

Daniel Dulac, the true gentleman of climbing, is the European Bouldering Champion! Determination, tenacity and complete representative of the (completely British) love for bouldering are words that describe the Andrew Earl, vice European Champion in Lecco. While the smile and the future of bouldering belong to Gabriele Moroni, the young happy Italian red devil, third in Lecco tonight.

We said earlier on today that nothing is certain in Bouldering. This evening we’re sure that this is what makes bouldering “great”. That Daniel Dulac is a fantastic climber was no secret, that his style and technique were textbook was well-known, but what he did tonight was truly amazing. We’re well used to the Frenchman’s concentration and prefect climbing, but this evening he exceeded even himself: he seemed to be in a perfect, unrepeatable trance. Dulac won by climbing all six boulders, five first go and one (the fourth, only climbed by him), second go after having just missed the top . “I’ve been chasing an international title for six years” Daniel confided after the competition “but injuries never made things easy.” Now he’s got it, and his “special” concentration this evening can be easily explained: he wanted this title, he really wanted it. Yes, this evening Dulac seemed unbeatable, distant, so much so that after the fourth boulder problem he seemed impassive.

But boulder problems can be climbed in many different ways. Andrew Earl for example demonstrated that desire and almost aggressive verve can be vital ingredients for success. The Englishman climbed instinctively, trusting his intuition, tenacity and speed. His final score of 5 tops in 8 attempts resulted in silver, and his self-belief were no doubt his greatest ally. Truly excellent!

By now you’ll have understood that the competition was a good one. Once again Godoffe and Laporte shuffled the cards, producing boulders with dynos and great movement. The stage for a great spectacle had been set. Many athletes tried to be the protagonists, but one who definitely made a mark was Gabriele Moroni. He did so on the absurd second slab, the two-handed dyno on boulder 3, on the deceiving finishing moves on the 5th boulder, and then on the 6th overhang and impossible mantleshelf finish. He was unique, an example for inventiveness and dynamism. As if to say: I dynoed to the top of the fifth boulder when nobody, not even the route setters, was expecting it. His comment, simple and efficient: “The top was close, I just jumped.” And his smile, enormous, spoke a thousand words. It was the same, incontainable joy that reverberated through the crowd. We’re certain: Gabriele hadn’t thought for a second that, had he sent the “easy” first boulder, he would have placed second. His joy was simple, genuine disbelief.

The crowd knew that something spectacular was happening last night, and excitedly encited the athletes throughout the competition. No doubt they heard the shouts of encouragement, as they all gave it their very best. Starting with fourth placed Matthias Muller from Switzerland: like Moroni he sent four boulders, but needed one attempt more. Salavat Rakmethov was in the running for the podium for a long while, but eventually placed fifth. Loic Gaidoz, in provisional lead after the qualification, placed sixth, while Marek Repcik placed seventh and Dmtry Sharafutoin eigth, all with three tops. Ludovic Laurence finished ninth, Serik Kazbekov tenth, Karsten Borowka eleventh and Gareth Parry twelfth, all with two tops.

It really was a great European Championship. The bouldering was exciting, unpredictable. The competition was open to the end, and Dulac won on the final probblem. Earl and Moroni, eleventh and twelfth respectively after the qualification, finished second and third. Bouldering without certainties is certainly the best there is!

Final results

1) Daniel Dulac (FRA)
2) Andrew Earl GBR)
3) Gabriele Moroni (ITA)
4) Matthias Muller (SUI)
5) Salavat Rakmethov (RUS)
6) Loic Gandioz (FRA)
7) Repcik Marek (SVK)
8) Dmitry Sharafutonov (RUS)
9) Ludovic Laurence (FRA)
10) Serik Kazbekov (UKR)
11) Karsten Borowka (GER)
12) Gareth Parry (GBR)

gabriele Moroni, campionati Eurpei Boulder lecco

top: Daniel Dulac on the 4th boulder, climbed only by him(ph Planetmountain.com).
bottom: Gabriele Moroni on the first boulder in the final (ph Giulio Malfer).

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