Björn Pohl - UKC, Jul 2013
© Björn Pohl
13 July 2013 in Chamonix, the night before the French national day, was local Chamoniard Romain Desgranges' night as his dream of winning in front of all his friends and family came true, and he became the 2013 European Champion. Winner among the women was, finally Dinara Fakhritdinova. A surprise to many, but she has had the potential for a long time, even though she is only 20.
To say Romain won in front of friends and family is true, but they were not the only ones there, unless of course he counts all the 15-20000 people in the crowd as friends. Come to think of it, last night, I'm quite sure he did!
The men's final was very close. 33+ could mean a silver, where 32+ meant 7th spot. The crux around hold 32-33 revolved around a very hard clip. If you messed it up, you were gone. The only one who could pass this section was Romain who battled his way a full three moves further.
The wait to see if his dream would come true was long and nervous, but the reaction when Ramon Julian Puigblanque fell where everyone else had fallen said it all. This was very emotional for the Frenchman whose previous best was a couple of 3rd places in the World cup.
Ramon finished 2nd with Jorg Verhoeven a very close 3rd.
Among the women, Dinara really showed who was boss. Climbing really well, she picked up the pace and punched her way up a couple of more moves when she realized she wouldn't be able to clip. As it turned out she didn't really need to as she beat the rest by at least five moves.
Mina Markovic was 2nd with Hélène Janicot in 3rd.
As for the men, places 2 to 4 were separated by countback.