The 2012 UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup which only has one remaining stop in Russia in March has been a story of Russian dominance and personal comebacks.
In the Men’s Lead competition Austrian climber Markus Bendler, after a disappointing start in South Korea and Switzerland, roared back to win a difficult route in Busteni, Romania.
The Romanian win was personal vindication for the veteran Bendler but it won’t be enough to catch up with Russian climber Maxim Tomilov who has built an unbeatable lead for the Men’s overall Lead title with wins in the early stages of the competition.
The story in the Women’s Lead competition, however, has yet to be written.
Italy’s Angelika Rainer is battling it out with Russia’s Maria Tolokonina for the overall Lead title with just one point separating the top two competitors. Not far behind is Anna Gallyamova, last year’s top ranked climber and Shin Woon Seon.
Rainer’s position is all the sweeter for her because she nearly quit competitive ice climbing in 2011 after a series of setbacks.
The Speed discipline which has been dominated by Russian climbers will also see close races when the climbers meet again on 8 March in Kirov, Russia for the final stop of the 2012 tour.
Maryam Filippova and Maria Krasavina are tied at 1st place for the overall Speed title for women with 300 points each.
In the Men’s speed event Kirill Kolchegoshev, the winner in Romania and overall leader so far, is just 16 points ahead of Alexey Tomilov, the brother and training partner of Maxim Tomilov.
For details of the overall rankings to date and the results in the 2012 Ice Climbing World Cup tour please visit our website here.