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Alex Puccio Third, Stöhr and Sharafutdinov Win Vail World Cup

Roughly 1,000 spectators erupted on Saturday evening as American Alex Puccio latched the top jug of the women's final problem and cranked a celebratory pull-up at this year's IFSC Bouldering World Cup in Vail, Colorado.

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Alex Puccio deciphers the cryptic moves of a tricky Semi-Finals problem.Roughly 1,000 spectators erupted on Saturday evening as American Alex Puccio latched the top jug of the women’s final problem and cranked a celebratory pull-up at this year’s IFSC Bouldering World Cup in Vail, Colorado. Puccio, who was tied for first place with Austrian Anna Stöhr and Akiyo Noguchi of Japan, managed to place third at the only bouldering World Cup held on U.S. soil.

“I had it in the bag a little bit and messed up,” Puccio explained to a Vail Daily reporter after the event. “I got messed up on the starting holds.” Despite the mix up, Puccio still managed to send the evening’s fourth and final problem on her second try, sealing a coveted spot on the podium.

Akiyo Naguchi tops out the women's final problem with no time left on the clock.However, Akiyo Noguchi–who was also initially stymied by the final problem’s beginning sequence–shocked the crowd on her last attempt by flawlessly executing the problem with no time left on the clock, to effectively break the tie with Puccio (due to Noguchi’s Semi-Finals points) and nab second place. Perhaps the strongest female performance of the evening, however, came from Anna Stöhr, who managed to top out all four boulder problems of the final round and clinch the victory of her 19th bouldering World Cup.

The men’s competition “was tough” said American Paul Robinson, who was one of six competitors out of 40 total men to make the finals. Robinson’s eyebrows lifted as he watched the Russians Dmitrii Sharafutdinov and Rustam Gelmanov power through the evening’s final problem. “That problem is about V10 or V11,” said Robinson. “Probably V11.”

Rustam Gelmanov cranks the Sharafutdinov and Gelmanov were the only competitors to send the slopey, final problem–with Sharafutdinov cranking it second try. He explained after the event that he enjoyed the intense difficulty of Vail’s World Cup Bouldering competition. “It was challenging,” said Sharafutdinov who took first place, while Gelmanov took second. Jorg Verhoeven of the Netherlands managed to edge out Canadian Sean McColl and Austria’s Kilian Fischhuber by onsighting Men’s Problem 3 to take third. “Although I failed on all slab problems today, I just had so much fun climbing,” commented Verhoeven on Facebook.

Sharafutdinov celebrates after topping out the final problem during his victory in Vail.

Men’s Top 10 Results:

1 SHARAFUTDINOV Dmitrii RUS
2 GELMANOV Rustam RUS
3 VERHOEVEN Jorg NED
4 MCCOLL Sean CAN
5 FISCHHUBER Kilian AUT
6 ROBINSON Paul USA
7 KRUDER Jernej SLO
8 CALEYRON Thomas FRA
9 SCHUBERT Jakob AUT
10 WOODS Daniel USA

Women’s Top 10 Results:

1 STÖHR Anna AUT
2 NOGUCHI Akiyo JPN
3 PUCCIO Alex USA
4 COXSEY Shauna GBR
5 WURM Juliane GER
6 PAYNE Angela USA
7 SAURWEIN Katharina AUT
8 LE NEVE Melissa FRA
9 SETHNA Elise CAN
10 ONOE Aya JPN

Austrian powerhouse Kilian Fischhuber on the men's third problem.

Jorg Verhoeven battling to third place.

Sean McColl, who finished fourth, said he was

Anna Stohr on the women's final problem.

The women's podium. From left to right: Alex Puccio (US), Anna Stohr (AUT), Akiyo Noguchi (JPN).

The men's podium. From left to right: Rustam Gelmanov (RUS), Dmitrii Sharafutdinov (RUS), Jorg Verhoeven (NED). Photos by Chris Parker.