Grossman and Le Bris win at Studio Bloc Masters 2024 Competition

Grossman and Le Bris win at Studio Bloc Masters 2024 Competition

Natalia Grossman (USA) and Arthur Le Bris (France) won the 6th Studio Bloc Masters event in Darmstadt, Germany, last night.

While Grossman was the favourite to win, the event’s standout was 18-year-old Iziar Martínez Almendros (Spain), who came second with 4 tops in 13 attempts.

Jessica Pilz (Austria) came third in the women’s final. She topped the second boulder just one second after the buzzer, while Martínez Almendros topped two seconds before. This is Pilz’s second bronze medal at Studio Bloc Masters. She won her first in 2019 behind Mia Krampl and Janja Garnbret.

Zan Sudar (Slovenia) and Filip Schenk (Italy) rounded out the male podium, with one top on the first boulder. The final was a low-scoring round, with no athlete topping either of the last two boulders.

Olympic champion Alberto Ginés López pulled out from the semi-final after feeling pain in his left big toe. He confirmed on Instagram that it is sesamoiditis – an inflammation of the tendon in the ball of the foot.

About the Boulders

Studio Bloc made all of the 3D scans of the final boulders available online for viewing (the scans of M3 and M4 were taken before the route setters changed the order).

Womens: W1, W2, W3, W4

Mens: M1, M2,M3, M4

The men’s final was a low-scoring round, with Le Bris winning with two tops on Boulders one and two.

Men’s Boulder 3 was the most physical, with a blind jump from a cave. The stopper move was from the zone, which was too hard for the athlete.

Boulder 4 featured a new “tick-tock” jumping move similar to the one in Dockmasters in January. However, few athletes tried the move, and no one reached the zone. In his post-competition video, Le Bris said the right-hand hold to start the move was “too bad” for him. Guillermo Peinado made a good attempt at the move but couldn’t generate enough momentum to reach the zone.

The women’s second boulder saw different methods, with Lucka Rodvec (Slovenia) and Camilia Moroni (Italy) both taking more static routes through the bottom section to the zone. In contrast, the others swung and jumped to the zone hold.

The women’s final boulder featured a campus rose move, which the setters considered a big risk. Four women topped the boulder, including the complete podium and Ayala Kerem. Martínez Almendros avoided the campus by matching the hold before the zone and controlling the swing into the next hold.

Dive Deeper

Last year, Martínez Almendros won the European Continental Youth Championship in Junior Boulder and came third at the Youth World Championship in Junior Boulder behind Selma Elhadj Mimoune (France) and Sara Copar (Slovenia). She finished 25th at the Innsbruck World Cup last year in Boulder and 41st in Bern at the Boulder World Championship.

Despite being 21 years old, Arthur Le Bris has only competed five times on the European and World Cup circuits. He won in Liébana (Spain), came eighth in Loverval (Belgium) and 20 in Chambéry (France). He finished 41st and 43rd at the Innsbruck and Prague World Cups last year.

Grossman became the first American to win Studio Bloc Masters, and Martínez Almendros became the first Spaniard to win a medal at the event.

The prize money at Studio Bloc this year was more than at the IFSC World Cups, with first place receiving 4,000€, second place 2,000€, and third place 500€.

What’s Next?

Stay tuned for behind-the-scenes coverage on Beta Routesetting from Niklas Wiechmann to see how the boulders were set and how the route setters intended the climbs to be done.

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