Jenny Lavarda wins the first stage of the Ice Master World Cup a Daone.
Daone 21/01/2007: It was in the air, it simply had to happen: Jenny Lavarda won the Ice Master World Cup in Daone and in doing so is crowned World Ice Bouldering Champion. Never before has an Italian athlete achieved a similar result. And never before have emotions run so high for a top and a victory which was expected by all. It was a perfect competition, a competition which route setters, athletes and, obvioulsy, the crowd dream of. Jenny Lavarda gave herself and the spectators sincere, peaceful and profound emotions which come about only when a much sought-after dream transforms into reality.
The perfect competition was long and came to a conclusion in its dying seconds. And the competition began slowly slowly, with Stephanie Maureau from France who kicked off the final and showed that the first route was climbable. The first dry tooling panel led to a section of hanging drips which, in turn, opened the route to the top via another panel. The right rhythm was key to success on this route, speed was essential and there was no time to get lost up along the way. Maureau interpreted the route well; it was clear that she was on better form today, but unfortunately not good enough to climb the last section up the dry tooling panel. Neither Natalya Kulikova from Russia nor Fiona Murray from Scotland managed either, and fell lower down along the line.
More technique and more positive determination were needed to reach that top, and this is exactly what Angelika Rainer had this Sunday morning. The young South Tyrolean, who yesterday seemed almost dazzled by her Daone World Cup debut, competed today with an air of lightness and disinvolvement which took her high and netted her a top just as time ran out. Or rather, an almost top, since she matched her ice axe just a few seconds after the 7 minutes had run out… So it was just a matter of time before the first route was to capitulate. Next out Maria Shabalina from Russia broke the spell: the experience and class of this Daone competition veteran was clear from the outset and she climbed securely to top out and match her ice axes on the final hold. The route had finally been climbed! Barbara Zwerger set off immediately afterwards with just the right determination to climb high but failed to free herself from the moving second and third drip, and fell.
The moment of truth had arrived, the first step towards a perfect competition, when Petra Müller from Switzerland entered the area: she shared provisional first place with Jenny Lavarda and, together with the Italian, was hot favourite for victory. Petra had to send the first route to remain on victory course and she did just this with a truly impressive time margin. Jenny Lavarda was next out and the tension (hers and that of the crowd) could be felt throughout the arena. The question that arises in these cases is: will she manage to overcome her “fear of winning” or will nerves get the better of her? Her first ice axe blow showed that this was to be Jenny’s day, and she travelled at the speed of light to the top. 100% concentration, almost relaxed. The cards were right for the finish, everyone knew what the outcome would have to be: the finals would be decided on the second route and between the final two contestants Petra Müller and Jenny Lavarda… Yes. It really looked as if it would be a perfect final.
In the meantime though the second route was playing to a completely different tune. All struggled on the initial dry tooling panels and the three (distant) drips which led to the long (and difficult) finishing panel. No athlete managed past the third drip except for Angelika Rainer who, climbing superbly, managed to hook the first holds on the final panel. But time was cruel and ran out, leaving the crowd to anguish, wait and hope in Petra Müller.
The Swisswoman moved like a true climbing machine and quickly reached the final three holds. The crowd was hypnotised and the finishing blue hold was within Petra’s grasp – but in the blink of an eye her hook slipped off the last, fundamental undercut… and down Petra fell. Just a few moments later it was Jenny Lavarda’s turn. Last out, she had a mission to complete – to climb to the top and win gold in Daone. Concentration, speed, technique and power were what was needed. And Jenny had plenty of all four. Do you have an idea of what perfection really is? Well, today Jenny was exactly this and, climbing beautifully, she reached that top which not only secured her the Ice Master World Cup here in Daone, but also emotions which made it worth being here in Daone today, at this perfect competition!