On April 16, 2011, many of North America’s top climbers descended upon Burlington, Ontario to compete for the title of Canada’s top boulderer in the Tour de Bloc. When the chalk finally settled on Sunday, Magnus Midtbø (NOR) and Angela Payne (USA) had bagged the top positions, while Canadian’s Sean McColl and Vikki Weldon secured the silver medals.
Saturday’s field of 59 men and 31 women queued up to power their way through the five qualifying routes at Climber’s Rock climbing gym for a spot in Sunday’s finals. At the end the first day, Terry Paholek (CAN) had easily clinched top position by making quick work of all the problems. Sean McColl and Alex Johnson (USA) also sent all five problems, but both had some issues with the dyno on the fourth problem. For the women, the top spot was shared by Vikki Weldon (CAN) and Sasha DiGiulian (USA) who easily flashed all five problems. Fourteen men and thirteen women would go through onto Sunday’s finals.
Seeded fourth, Magnus Midtbø (NOR) wowed the crowd with the ease that he dispatched the finals problems. Already fired up from this display, the crowd went crazy when Sean McColl came out. McColl kept the momentum going by making quick work of second problem, but struggled trying to stick the crux finish on next problem. He put that behind him and came agonizingly close to latching the last hold on the unsendable fourth problem.
Just as Magnus had come up from fourth position to take the win, so did Angie Payne (USA). Payne was the only female competitor to climb all four boulders, flashing everything but the fourth problem. Vikki Weldon (CAN) was the last female out and kept the show going with her a strong performance that secured her second place. This left Sasha DiGiulian (USA), Alannah Yip (CAN), and Stacey Weldon (CAN) competing for third place, which eventually went to Stacey Weldon (CAN).
With the continued growth and success of competition climbing in Canada, everyone is eagerly awaiting next year’s Tour.
- Angela Payne
- Vikki Weldon
- Stacey Weldon
- Alannah Yip
- Sasha DiGiulian
- Magnus Midtbø
- Sean McColl
- Josh Muller
- Sebastien Lazure
- Alex Johnson