Ice World Cup Chamonix, Husson and Sansoz win again
Stephane Husson and Liv Sansoz win fourth stage of IWC 2001 in Chamonix
It snowed heavily on Saturday night in Chamonix while the sixteen finalists battled out the decisive fourth and penultimate stage of the Ice World Cup.
But conditions have to be far worse than this to put off ice climbers. Competing in front of a home crowd Stephane Husson and Liv Sansoz climbed to victory, adding this fourth stage to their impressive first places in Pitztal and Valle di Daone.
In this French boulder stage the athletes climbed 3 problems in the Open and the Final, and only two in the Semi-final. The routes were physical and well set, with more sections on ice than dry tooling in the first two rounds.
The ice structure was simple, lacked overhanging ice drips and less pretty than in Valle di Daone, yet it proved to be highly functional and effective. A small and enthusiastic crowd enjoyed the competition which, had the weather been better, would have attracted far more onlookers.
Liv Sansoz won the women's event after placing 3rd in the Open and first in both the Semi-final and Final. In doing so she gained 20 points for the IWC Female ranking, currently headed by the more constant Ines Pappert who, after one victory and three second places, leads the field by 40 points.
This head-to-head - even with its due differences - is reminiscent of that between that Sansoz and Sarkany in the latest Sports Climbing World Cup. Who knows whether Sansoz will be able to win this time, too. What is certain however is that her result in Saas Fee may cost her the Grand Slam, or rather, victory in both the IWC and the Sports Climbing World Cup in the same season.
Ildi Kiss Pellisier placed third, followed by Kirsten Buchmann (first after the open) fourth, and StÃ©phanie Maureau, who currently lies in 3rd place overall, fifth.
The full brunt of the French supremacy was felt in Chamonix like never before. Stephane Husson won, ahead of his team mates Anthony Lamiche and Daniel Dulac, second and third. Not surprisingly the provisional IWC ranking is an identical photocopy of the result in Chamonix.
Dimitrii Bytchkov placed fourth after his provisional Semi-final first-equal with Lamiche, while Mathias Schiestl placed fifth.
Last act: Kirov
The final stage of the IWC 2001 takes place in Kirov in a month's time. Home to ice climbing competitions and crowds of up to 10,000 spectators, this Russian stage will be decisive. Mark 8-10 March
> IWC 1st stage Piztal
> IWC 2nd stage Valle di Daone
> IWC 3rd stage Saas Fee
> IWC 2001 calendar