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World Cup Lead 2006 won by Patxi Usobiaga and Angela Eiter in Kranj


Patxi Usobiaga and Angela Eiter win the Climbing World Cup Lead 2006. David Lama and Maja Vidmar win final stage in Kranj.

The classic final stage in Kranj produced it's clear result: Patxi Usobiaga and Angela Eiter are the winners of the World Cup Lead 2006. The Spaniard wins his first ever lead title, while Eiter wins her third World Cup in a row: this hat trick speaks a thousand words. The Kranj stage was won by David Lama and his victory can leave little room for doubt: in his debut year the 16 year old Austro/Tibetan won his third competition in 2006 (the second one in a row after Penne) and in doing so he placed second overall. Not a bad start for the "climber of the future" who in Kranj recuperated three positions and overtook Verhoeven, Puigblanque, Flavio Crespi and Tomasz Mrazek. The latter two finished 13th in Kranj and joint 3rd equal in the World Cup.

The women's event was won by Maja Vidmar, one of Slovenia's most promising athletes who, competing at home, rediscovered her motivation and determination necessary to beat Angela Eiter. After the qualification and semifinal the two were joint first, but in the final Maja climbed two holds higher than her rival... Vidmar's success is to be congratulated and it is also a demonstration of how she kept her nerve in the final - something which she had failed to do in the last Rock Master in Arco. Well done Maja!

Worth mentioning are Natalija Gros' third place - this other super Slovenian athlete confirmed the tradition that the Slovenian team does well in Kranj - and Sandrine Levet's 4th place which netted her 2nd overall, followed by teammate Caroline Ciavaldini 3rd. Maja Vidmar (4th), Natalija Gros (5th) and Mina Markovic (6th) formed a Slovenian hattrick, while teammate Lucka Franko placed 10th: 4 athletes in the top ten is a significant result for the future Slovenian female squad.

David Lama's Slovenian sprint matured in the final (in the semifinal he failed to reach the top) when he climbed two holds higher than Cedric Lachat, 2nd. The flying Dutchman Jorg Verhoeven placed third thanks to the two tops in the qualification and semifinal which separated him from Ramon Julien Puigblanque who fell off the same hold in the final. Luck, once again, wasn't on Puigblanque's side since the Spanish climber slipped just 5 points away from bronze in 2006. But this is what competitions are about. Flavio Crespi and Tomas Mrazek produced their worst performance of the year to finish 13th: prior to the competition they were joint equal, and they remained so after as well. They ended up joint third equal, with the disappointment of having slipped from silver to bronze.

But having said that a World Cup podium (even the lowest) cannot be disdained: Crespi remains the best Italian to date and his defense of the World Cup 2005 title was admirable. Talking of Italians: "veteran" Luca Zardini climbed into his nth final in a competition where tension was high and much was up for grabs. Who knows whether the climber from Cortina will continue next year; we hope he'll continue. One thing is certain: his driving vertical passion is stronger than everything else - thanks Luca!

The team competitions (men and women) was won by France ahead of Austria (2nd) and Slovenia (3rd), followed by Spain, Switzerland and Italy.

We wanted to round off the circuit with a thought: in the penultimate stage in Penne the world class boulderer Kilian Fischhuber fought his way into 14th place. In Kranj her finished 6th... What might this mean? Perhaps nothing, but it perhaps it's something to reflect upon for the World Cup 2007.

Final results men Kranj
1. Lama David AUT
2. Lachat Cédric SUI
3. Verhoeven Jorg NED
4. Usobiaga Patxi ESP
5. Puigblanque Ramon Julien ESP
6. Fischhuber Kilian AUT
7. MarinGarcia Eduard ESP
8. Zardini Luca ITA
9. McColl Sean CAN
10. Winkler Daniel SUI
11. Stranik Martin CZE
12. Bindhammer Christian GER
13. Crespi Flavio ITA
13. Millet Sylvain FRA
13. Mrazek Tomas CZE
16. Midtboe Magnus NOR
17. Sova Matej SLO
18. Kuess Mario AUT
19. Droetto Fabrizio ITA
20. Vander Werf Roman NED

Final results women Kranj
1. Vidmar Maja SLO
2. Eiter Angela AUT
3. Gros Natalija SLO
4. Levet Sandrine FRA
5. Durif Charlotte FRA
6. Saurwein Katharina AUT
7. Markovic Mina SLO
8. Franko Lucka SLO
9. Malamid Evgenia RUS
10. Ciavaldini Caroline FRA
11. Chereshneva Yana RUS
12. Cufar Martina SLO
13. Eyer Alexandra SUI
14. Bacher Barbara AUT
15. Caprez Nina SUI
16. Gosar Asja SLO
17. Stendal LinnKarin NOR
18. Anda Irati ESP
19. Schranz Christine AUT
20. Lavarda Jenny ITA

Final results World Cup Lead 2006

1. Usobiaga Patxi ESP 619.00
2. Lama David AUT 548.00
3. Crespi Flavio ITA 533.00
3. Mrazek Tomas CZE 533.00
5. Puigblanque Ramon Julien ESP 528.00
6. Verhoeven Jorg NED 524.00
7. Marin Garcia Eduard ESP 452.00
8. Lachat Cédric SUI 386.00
9. Millet Sylvain FRA 357.00
10. Winkler Daniel SUI 316.00
11. Preu§ler Timo GER 248.00
12. Bindhammer Christian GER 214.00
13. Fuselier Mickael FRA 213.00
14. Dugit Fabien FRA 173.00
15. Zardini Luca ITA 168.00

1. Eiter Angela AUT 845.00
2. Levet Sandrine FRA 655.00
3. Ciavaldini Caroline FRA 573.00
4. Vidmar Maja SLO 561.00
5. Gros Natalija SLO 559.00
6. Markovic Mina SLO 407.00
7. Durif Charlotte FRA 395.00
8. Bacher Barbara AUT 309.00
9. Kobayashi Yuka JPN 237.00
10. Franko Lucka SLO 224.00
11. Chereshneva Yana RUS 213.00
12. Lavarda Jenny ITA 176.00
13. Saurwein Katharina AUT 169.00
14. Pinet Florence FRA 127.00
15. Sarkany Muriel BEL 119.00


18-19 November 2006
10th and final stage of the World Cup Lead

Patxi Usobiaga and Angela Eiter
photo Giulio Malfer

World Cup 2006
1. Puurs
2. Dresden
3. Chamonix
4. Qinghai Province
5. Singapore
6. Kuala Lumpur
7. Marbella
8. Shanghai
9. Penne
10. Kranj
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