Photo of Emily Harrington competing at Serre-Chevalier courtesy of www.montagne-virtuel.com.
American papers were full of the successes of Floyd Landis in the Tour de France and Tiger Woods in the British Open, but there was a third American victory in Europe last weekend: Emily Harrington of Boulder, Colorado, won the annual Serre-Chevalier comp in France, her best result ever in international competition. The top 28 men and 21 women in the world ranking are invited to the outdoor competition at a French ski resort, and only World Cup leader Angela Eiter was missing among the favorites from the women’s field. Harrington flashed the qualifying route and was one of only two out of 10 women to flash the semifinal route. In the final, she fell at the same point as Frenchwoman Caroline Ciavaldini, but the judges ruled that Harrington had control of a hold that Ciavaldini had only touched, giving the American the top prize of 4,600 euros (around $5,800).
Harrington, who took the silver medal at the 2005 world championships, has been by far the strongest North American in international sport-climbing competition in recent years. She is only the fourth American woman, after Lynn Hill, Robyn Erbesfield, and Katie Brown, to win a major international competition. Harrington has finished fifth and 10th in World Cup comps this year and currently is ranked ninth in the World Cup standings. However, her win at Serre-Chevalier will not factor into the World Cup ranking.
For the men, Spaniard Patxi Usobiaga won Serre-Chevalier for the second year in a row, flashing all three routes in the comp. Canadian Sean McColl tied for 13th.
Women 1. Emily Harrington (USA) 2. Caroline Ciavaldini (FRA) 3. Charlotte Durif (FRA) 4. Natalia Gros (SLO) 5. Maja Vidmar (SLO)
Men 1. Patxi Usobiaga (SPA) 2. Tomás Mrázek (CZE) 3. David Lama (AUT) 4. Cedric Lachat (SWI) 5. Fabien Dugit (FRA) Comment on this story