Any competition where there is a deep field, predicting the winners is always going to be a tough task.But World Cup climbing comps are especially tough, given there are three rounds that a winner must stay on top of his or her game, dramatic reversal of fortune are common.
Below, just for fun (the IFSC rules explicitly forbid betting) is our guess at the contenders with a shot to take the men’s and women’s title at the Canadian Bouldering World Cup in Hamilton.
Sean McColl 3-1
A partisan choice to be sure, but McColl has the bona fides to head up this list. His recent win at the World Cup at Log Dragomar Slovenia and French lead National shows he is on top form. With the added incentive of performing in front of a home crowd, McColl will be extra motivated.
Killian Fischuber 7-2
The Austrian legend is one of the winningest competitors in the history of the circuit, and a perpetual threat. Fischuber has had a slower start (by his lofty standard) to the season, but you don’t build a resume like his by having long dry spells.
Jan Hojer 15-2
Hojer is a newer face at the pointy end of the field, but he has been Junior World Champion in the past. Hojer took his first World Cup Bouldering victory just two weeks ago in Innsbruck, Austria, he will be looking to make it two on the trot.
Guillaume Glairon Mondet 9 – 1
The French national team stalwart has been one of the most consistent competitors this season, making it into all but one final in the World Cups held this year. Despite that consistency, Mondet have yet to take a win this season, could Canada bring good luck for Mondet?
Rustam Gelmanov 12 – 1
Last year’s Overall World Cup winner, Gelmanov have not had the start to the season he would have like, missing finals on several occasions. He will be looking to turn his season around in Hamilton
Woods is the top American boulderer, on rock or plastic, but does not have extensive World Cup experience. He is known for his off the chart strength, but may not be as adapted to the technical trickery needed to take a win at this level. Look for him to shine if the problems are more power rather than finesse oriented.
Anna Stohr 2-1
Stohr has been on fire this season, winning the opening four Bouldering World Cup in a row this season. Her win streak was snap at Innsbruck by only 1 less attempt from Juliane Wurm, bumping Stohr down to second. It is hard to see anyone betttering Stohr at the moment.
Akiyo Noguchi 3-1
Noguchi has won the overall World Cup titles on two occasions in the past, with many victories to her name, but none this season, yet. She also won in the last time the World Cups came to Canada in Canmore in 2011, can she repeat the magic in Hamilton?
Juliane Wurm 5-1
Wurm, took her first World Cup Bouldering victory in Innsbruck alongside countryman Jan Hojer, leading to an all German affair. Wurm, and Hojer, leads a strong contingent from Germany, who have arrived a week early to train and get over the jet lag: will their meticulous preparation pay off?
Shauna Coxsey 13-2
Coxsey is the most consistent competitor on the World Cup circuit from Britain, commiting fully to contesting the entire calendar. For her efforts, Coxsey currently sits third overall in the latest rankings, but she is still looking for her first win.
Alex Puccio 8 – 1
Alex Puccio is one of the strongest female boulderer in the world and the only American, men or women, who is consistently competing at the World Cup level. She has based herself out of the UK along side Coxsey, the possiblity of a more North American style of problem will play to Puccio’s strength.
Momoka Oda10 – 1
19 years Oda is newer to the World Cup bouldering scene, but she is a season competitor on the lead side, taking multiple podiums and a win at the Imst Lead World Cup in 2012. She is an outside chance for victory, but don’t be surprise if she makes it on the podium.
Melissa La Neve14-1
The French Bouldering competition specialist is always in the mix, consistently making it to finals for the last few years. However, amidst that consistency, she has not been able to nail a big win, and she looks to continue the trend in Hamilton.