Posts Tagged ‘France’

Today I had a restday.

I was up in the morning to work on my blog.

As you can see, I have selected just a few photos.

Anyway, this morning I bought breakfast in a bakery shop.

I picked some nice pain aux raisins. I love those, especially when they’re still warm.

At the arena I explored a the different areas. The boulder area was quite small compared to the lead area. Of course lead climbing is way more fun than bouldering. My first impression of the wall was the hidden overhang. It looks huge, but actually it’s about 20 meters high.

Nikki climbed her first route in the afternoon. Her second route was about 2 hours later. I took a few photos of her second route. She climbed really well. She ended up in the semi final, so we’ll see her in action again on Friday!

The Dutch boulderteam was there as well. The problems looked hard with many sloper holds. Not my cup of tea though. Such a pity none of the men advanced to the semis.

After the competition we went back to our hotel. I got a leg massage from Tom, cause I felt a bit sore from the long walk. It felt good!

In the evening we went out for dinner. We searched for several restaurants but none of those met our standards.

Eventually after half an hour of walking we ended up in a nice restaurant.

Our toast went out to Nikki and her awesome performance today. I had a nice duck fillet with Orangina and some crepe du Nutella as desert. It was so delicious, makes me feel good yeah.

Now I’m back at the hotel. Once again updating blog, working on photos and catch up on the Dutch elections. By the way, I tweeted it before but I’ll repeat it here again. Tomorrow I’ll start climbing 4th in my second route and 29th in my first route, which means I’ll be climbing at approximately 09:10. I don’t feel the World championship climbing tension yet though, I feel quite relaxed.

It was good to check out the wall today. I was impressed by the paraclimbers though. Some were blind or missing a leg or arm but nonetheless they managed to top the route!

Anyway, check out the live stream tomorrow!

I just set my alarm clock: 06.30 AM on my phone. I’m going to brush my teeth, take a shower and get some sleep. I wish you goodnight from Paris. Bonnuit!

I was busy packing my luggage at night. I just started but felt like continuing the next morning. For now it was important to get some sleep as it was 1 AM midnight.

A few hours later I had company from a few mosquito’s. Fortunately I didn’t get bitten despite the annoying sound next to my ear. I set my alarm at 07.30 AM in the morning. The vibrations woke me up and I stared out of my window. The sun was present and it was the start of a new day for me.

I continued to pack my stuff. I looked into my suitcase and I had packed shoes, harness and a chalkbag. I only need to find the rest, sort it on category and press some shirts and trousers. I need to check everything one more time. I noticed I had space left and figured to add my pillow as well because you never know what kind of pillow you’ll get abroad!

My suitcase is zipped and I went to the supermarket to get myself some breakfast. I bought grapes, sandwiches and some beverage for my journey.

At the station I run into Elko. We’re meeting at half past 9, an early train in case we get delayed. I received a text message from Vera, who went by train an hour earlier and travels among the boulderteam. She warnes us for some delay on the road but I wasn’t worrying. Everything will be fine Vera.

At Roosendaal we run into Nikki and Tom in the train. We all sit close to each other despite the rush hour. At Brussels-south we have 20 minutes left and we stopped at this nice sandwich bakery. While I was paying attention to our luggage, Tom was getting a sandwich Italiano for himself and a sandwich Tourist for me. It’s a really nice sandwich with mayonnaise!

In our next train to Paris-North we have separate places. Tom and I are sitting trainnumber 8 and Nikki and Elko in 5. When I look outside my window, everything seems to go so fast and the sun is shining at times. It feels like we’re going 220 km per hour. It took us one hour and fifteen minutes to get to Paris. 3 metrostops away was our hotel, at station Gare de Lyon.

We rested for an hour and then went to the venue. We received our tickets and had dinner together.

After dinner we went back to the hotel. I figured I wanted to see more of Paris. I will have to start on Thursday which means I don’t have to go to bed early. Elko and I went out to explore Paris at night. We’ve seen people dancing at parks near the water, lots of homeless people (some even had kids), impressive buildings and bars and cafes full of people.

It seems like the nightlife in Paris never stops. I had fun! It was time to get some sleep. Tomorrow the journey will continue!

I’ve been flying under the radar lately. I have been quite busy training but I have an announcement to share!

This week the world championship sportsclimbing will be held in the prestigious Bercy Arena in France.

I’ll be there among the Dutch lead team: Jorg Verhoeven, Elko Schellingerhout, Nikki van Bergen and me. The Dutch boulderteam will be represented by: Vera Zijlstra, Nicky de Leeuw, Michiel Nieuwenhuijsen and Hans Busker. Coach Wouter Jongeneelen and physio Tom Mooij will support us during the whole week. Check out the rest of the competitors here.

Here is a short teaser about the competition.

Trailer: Championnats du Monde d’ESCALADE 2012

What else? Here are some nice numbers. Did you know that there are:
• 85 000 licence holders
• 55 000m² arena space
• 15 000 expected spectators
• 500 athletes
• 200 volunteers
• 50 countries
• 15 judges
• 5 magical days of climbing in Paris
• 2 full days of finals
• 1 international sport arena
• 4335 facebook fans (and climbing…)
• The area looks like:

Provisional program:

Wednesday 12th September
09:00 – 18:00 Qualification MEN BOULDER
12:00 – 18:00 Qualification WOMEN LEAD

Thursday 13th September
12:00 – 18:00 Qualification WOMEN BOULDER
09:00 – 18:00 Qualification MEN LEAD

Friday 14th September
09:00 – 13:00 Practice time MEN & WOMEN SPEED
10:00 – 12:30 Semi-final MEN BOULDER
10:00 – 12:30 Semi-final WOMEN LEAD
14:00 – 18:00 Qualification MEN & WOMEN SPEED

Saturday 15th September
10:00 – 12:30 Semi-final WOMEN BOULDER
10:00 – 12:30 Semi-final MEN LEAD
18:00 – 18:30 Opening Ceremony
18:30 – 20:00 Final MEN BOULDER
20:00 – 20:30 Final PARACLIMBING (male blind1)
20:30 – 20:45 Awarding ceremony
Entract
21:15 – 22:15 Final WOMEN LEAD
22:15 – 23:00 Final WOMEN SPEED
23:00 – 23:15 Awarding ceremony

Sunday 16th September
13:00 – 14:30 Final WOMEN BOULDER
14:30 – 15:00 Final PARACLIMBING (male one leg amputee)
15:00 – 15:15 Awarding ceremony
Entract
15:45 – 16:45 Final MEN LEAD
16:45 – 17:30 Final MEN SPEED
17:30 – 17:50 Awarding ceremony
17:50 – 18:05 Closing ceremony

According to this program, I’ll start on Thursday 13th September (09:00 – 18:00 Qualification MEN LEAD)!
You can follow the World Championship live. Wish me luck and stay tuned for more updates!

Friday morning my phone woke me up at 06.00 AM in the morning. I wanted to snooze my alarm, but I got up anyway. You know that feeling when you feel like you just fell asleep but had to wake up? Well I was experiencing it in the morning. Lack of sleep yeah.

I took a quick shower to wake up and got myself ready.

When I was walking towards the car and heard the birds whistling. No one on the streets except me. Nice!

07.00 AM I entered the competition venue. Ulf was waiting for me on the parking lot. Together we walked to the wall to check the routes. It wasn’t clear which route was my first route. The tags still had to be placed by the organization.

I went to the isolation area where I warmed up. Then I checked the video of the qualifications. The first route looks okay and then went to the training wall to warm up my fingers. The holds were cold and so were my fingers.

The holds in the competition wall must be cold too, so I was trying to keep my fingers warm. Time really flew in the morning. I felt a small fleshpump in my arms and decided to focus on the route again.

It was close to 08.30 AM and I thought I was ready to climb. The organization told me to wait a few more minutes. I had to keep my fingers warm but every minute seemed too long. After a few minutes I could start my
route. I started quite safe and kept climbing in my safe mode. Every move was static and controlled, but very slow. As soon as I got to the roof of the wall, there was this hold which I had to pinch with my right. Then my fingers started to feel a bit numb and I tried to continue. I had to go to another pinch in the roof with my left hand. And this is the part where I should’ve turned my abs on. My feet were placed too low, but my hands weren’t ready to pinch on those cold holds. I decided to go. Although the next hold seemed so far away, when I got to the hold, my feet were hold-less. This was a no go. I wasn’t climbing as myself, not relaxed at all, just too tense. Perhaps a bit nervous because this was my first international competition of the year.

1,5 hours later I could start my second qualification. Ulf told me to relax and forget about the first route. I tried to enjoy from the start. I was here to climb and see where I stood in this strong competitor field.

I saw a few other climbers run through this route and I was planning to copy that style. This shouldn’t be so hard. I should just relax and climb! From the start I had this mindset and took some risks during the route. I climbed somewhat faster and got to the roof.

In the roof I knew exactly what to do. I rested first on 2 good holds and then I started the right sequence. It went well with a super dropknee in the roof.

There was a tricky move in the roof but I had to stick it. Finally I succeeded in these hard moves. Just a few moves later, my right knee sticked behind a hold and I couldn’t coordinate well. A small mistake paid by a fall out in the route. Without taking risks I couldn’t get so far. I wasn’t pumped in the route but still, this is so fudged up! I was just getting started. Sigh.

A few hours later, the final results of the routes were approved by the officials. In my first route I ended up 50th out of 58 competitors. Aaah sucky score! Second route I ended up 29th out of 58 competitors.

This score seems okay, but still not good enough! Average score: 40th out of 58. I didn’t end up with the first 26 competitors, resulting in no semis for me. Meh.

I have mixed thoughts about this worldcup. Being first isn’t nice in my opinion. It has its advantage like climbing on clean holds. There are more disadvantages to mention such as, getting up really early and climbing on cold holds. I would rather climb in the afternoon, when it felt 10 degrees warmer compared to the morning. Anyway, my first route just sucked. It’s my fault. Second route went better, I felt more relaxed about it.

The next day, I got over it and supported Nikki in her semis and watched the finals.

Between the semis and the finals there was a long break. Ulf, Elko, Nikki and me went to climb outdoors. Briançon has many outdoor rocks. We went to Mont-Dauphin, which was about 1 hour driving from Briançon. We walked up the hill (read: wooden stair in the forest) for 10 minutes and found the rocks. This area contains lots of pebbles and conglomerates. Ulf and Elko climbed, Nikki and I enjoyed the sun and the view of the landscape.

The finals were nice to watch. This square was full of people. There was no entrance. The finalists were presented in a cool way. They were standing in front of a window with spotlights aimed upon them. It was really spectacular to witness the finals.

I think the men finals was better than the women finals. The women finals seemed too easy. The semis of the women was set too easy as well. There is a new rule from the IFSC though. It doesn’t matter how many climbers top out the route, the one who’s the fastest will be the winner. Fortunately no one from the men sent the whole route. 5 women topped out the final route! Check the final results here.

Anyway, it was nice to be in Briançon. Everytime I see the finals, I really get psyched to train and get motivated. I think that is a part what I was looking for these last few months. Train towards worldcup isn’t easy. Only by competing a lot of worldcups, will get you back in the scene. You’ll know what you’re training for. The goal will be more clear. I think climbing with passion during competitions is important too!

After the finals, there suppose to be an after party. It was held in the center of Briançon. I was there, but this wasn’t a party to me. It was held outside, music style was dubstep and they played till 1 AM. The bars closed at 2 AM and we stood outside in the cold talking to each other or looking for some hot action if you know what I mean. I went home and got some sleep.

The next day I checked out and picked up Ulf. Nikki and Elko were going to Spain to climb outdoors for 2 weeks. Ulf and I went climbing in the morning. We checked this area called Les Ayes. It’s a tricky road uphill. There were lots of unpaved roads. It took us about 30 minutes driving from Briançon but every minute was worth it. When I got there, it was like heaven!

Super nice open area, with a nice small river next to the road. Behind the water was the rocks. You could park the car next to the water and walk 5 minutes and climb on rocks.

It was good to climb between 11 and 13.00 o’clock. Then the sun turned on the wall. We had to leave anyway to catch our flight. I climbed 3 routes, which was really awesome!

Then I got to the airport, checked in my luggage, had to wait for 1 hour and got on the airplane.

The end. I had a really good time, except the party was a bit lame.

Well so far my first international worldcup again. I’ll take my good experience in account for the next time!

This morning I set my alarm at 6 o’clock but I couldn’t get up on time. I suppose to leave at 6.30h, so I would’ve some spare time for my trip to Schiphol airport, but unfortunately I slept late. I left at 7 o’clock and arrived one hour later at Schiphol.

Fortunately I didn’t have any delay. At the airport I ran into team member Nikki, she was there on time. Team member Elko arrived soon and we’re complete. Checking in went well. This dude at the metal detector checked up on me. I had to open up my bags, but there was nothing dangerous inside my bag. He was just checking out my gadgets, I think he’s jealous at my camera!

The flight to Zurich was nice. I received swiss chocolate during the flight.

It was so delicious, I craved for more. I managed to score some more chocolates with my pure awesomeness at the end of the flight.

We could spend 1 hour at the airport. While Nikki and Elko were busy with their notebooks, I explored the airport. It was quite fun because I could try some fine chocolate sweets. I enjoyed it a lot.

So if you ever have time left at Zurich airport, I suggest you to walk around and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

At Zurich, Mathilde and her mom from Sweden joined us. They booked the same flight to Lyon.

When we arrived at Lyon, it was up to fix a rental car.

I booked a small car before, however it was meant for 3 persons. We were with the 5 of us and luckily they had a bigger car available on their parking lot.

We fit well in the car, including our luggage. It took us 2 hours to get to Valence. We managed to get on time at the climbing gym for the registration without navigation.

First we parked our car in the same street of the hotel and checked in. It’s a ** hotel and it’s about 15 minutes by foot to the climbing gym.

To be honest, I’ve seen better hotels in my life. Anyway, I’ll just stay here for a few days!

Next we went downtown to grab a bite. It was already 6.30 P.M. Most of the restaurants open from 7 P.M. We had to hurry because we wanted to be on time for the technical meeting from 7.30 P.M. We ended up in an average restaurant where we got served pretty fast. I ordered entrecote nature avec pomme et salad. Too bad I didn’t have ketchup with my fries. The meat was nice though.

I was too hungry so it was okay I suppose. Nikki picked lasagna and Elko had pizza.

We were on time at the technical meeting. There’s nothing special according the officials.

Nikki will start 7th in her first route and 23rd in her second route. Elko will start 6th in his first route and 28th in his second route. I’ll start 38th in my first route and 16th in my second route.

The programme remains the same. After this meeting we had some desserts to end our long journey. We visited this restaurant near our hotel.

It was super delicious. We’ll definitely return to his restaurant for a meal. After our dessert we went back to our hotel.

That’s it for now. I’m tired and I’m going to sleep because I have to wake up early. Goodnight to everyone and greetings from Valence, France!

Only 3 days to go, yeah! While time is ticking away, I promised to post more information about the Worldcup in Valence.

I haven’t been here before though, but I looked into this competition on the web. It’s always nice to know what you’re up against when you’re in another country.

Firstly, as we speak there are 75 77 competitors who signed up for this competition, among them are Nikki van Bergen, Elko Schellingerhout and me. We’ll leave Thursday morning by airplane from Amsterdam towards Lyon, France. Hopefully we won’t be delayed, or even worse, miss our flight.

Secondly, this is the fifth time the rock climbing Worldcup will be held in Valence. The competition will be organised by climbing club Mineral Spirit and the lead part will take place indoors. The wall is 14 meter high, has a width of 21 meters with more than 10 meter overhang! Here are some photos of the wall. In my previous post I inserted a map but below you’ll see a map with the exact location of the climbing venue.

Map: Walking distance from hotel to the climbing gym

As you can see on the map, our hotel Inter-Hotel De Paris Et Des Voyageurs is just around the corner. Thanks for booking Vera!

Thirdly, I found more information about the provisional programme. Overview:

Friday October 28th, men and women lead qualification will take place between 09.00h and 15.30h.
Saturday October 29th, semis will start at 12.30h and in the evening you can check the finals starting at 20.00h live on webcam!

Follow the Dutch climbing lead Team live or on Facebook.

To cut my post short, here is a teaser I spotted on the web. Have fun!

Video: Escalade – Teaser Coupe du Monde Valence – FFME

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