Austrian Jessica Pilz matched reigning Lead season champion Janja Garnbret (SLO) in the standings by completing the final route in Chamonix. The star athletes swapped first and second place at the opening Lead events, and they will aim for gold again in Briançon and Arco. Like Pilz, compatriot and season leader Jakob Schubert has yet to miss the podium in Lead in 2018, but Italian Stefano Ghisolfi gained ground with a top in finals last week. Both men will have to contest with Alexander Megos (GER) in Briançon and both Megos and Lead world champion Adam Ondra (CZE) in Arco.
Since missing the opener in Moscow, former Speed world record holder Danyil Boldyrev raced to three medals and could take the lead in Arco. He must surpass frontrunner Dmitrii Timofeev to do so, who leads another strong Russian team alongside veteran Mariia Krasavina. 2017 Speed season champion Anouck Jaubert exited finals early in Chamonix, but the 2018 leader should rebound in Arco. Also keep an eye on Iuliia Kaplina (RUS) and Bassa Mawem (FRA), who have recorded several quick times in 2018. More starters can be found on the Briançon and Arco event pages.
13 qualified athletes for the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 are currently registered to compete across Briançon and Arco. Meiringen Bouldering finalist Sandra Lettner of Austria is set to climb in her first IFSC Lead World Cup this week. Argentinian Valentina Aguado will join her in Briançon and compete in both Lead and Speed disciplines the following week. Shuta Tanaka of Japan is slated to travel to both events as well after qualifying for Lead finals last weekend. Keep an eye on Slovenian Vita Lukan too, who just missed the finals cut in Villars (9th) and Chamonix (11th).
9 months after Sheffield, Paraclimbing season champions return to action in Briançon. Visually impaired athletes Francisco Javier Aguilar Amoedo (ESP), John Churcher (GBR), Tanja Glusic (SLO) and Sabine Ladel (FRA), leg amputee Julien Gasc (FRA), forearm amputees Kevin Bartke (GER), Ismael Ewan Sanchez Mcilroy (ESP) and Melinda Vigh (HUN), and in the RP categories (limited range, power, stability) Hannah Baldwin (GBR), Mathieu Besnard (FRA) and Mor Michael Sapir (ISR) were all season champions last year and are back on the start list. Be sure to follow Briançon winner Urko Carmona Barandiaran (ESP) as well, who topped every problem last year for gold.
Special video programming will be provided for the Paraclimbing Cup debut in Briançon. Tune-in to the IFSC homepage on July 18th to watch the live streaming of finals, and watch the live streaming of semi-final and final rounds in Lead and Speed on July 20th-21st and 28th. Join the chat on Twitter during the shows at #IFSCwc.