He’s been recognized for a while now as a top six contender, but Ronny Rockel has found the terrain rough to place higher in the ‘big two.’ After taking sixth at the Arnold Classic, the native of Germany found himself in the winner’s circle three weeks later at the 2011 IFBB Mr. Europe Grand Prix in Spain.
Rockel has brought an incredible proportioned physique to the stage but had been stuck below the top three. His diminutive stature was the obvious reason why he would hear his name called after the likes of Branch Warren, Jay Cutler, Dennis Wolf and Phil Heath but that is something out of his control.
Rockel stuck to his game plan and it was a general consensus within the industry that he finally received his due. Now the question arises is how he can springboard the victory into a better placing in September at the Orleans Arena.
The line-up will be tough, as usual, but even more so now that Warren can come in flexing his first Arnold win. After finishing second and third, respectively, at the 2009 and 2010 Olympias, ‘Quadrasaurus’ is more than just a mere threat to Cutler’s reign. Speaking of the two-time defending champion, he will need to be knocked out to be dethroned and that doesn’t seem likely. Cutler learned from his mistakes in 2008 when Dexter Jackson swiped the Sandow from him and he has been in top condition ever since.
Last year, Heath took the stage looking amazing but still couldn’t defeat his close friend Cutler. ‘The Gift’ bowed out of the Arnold to concentrate on the Olympia and will need every advantage just to be the runner-up again. The ‘Big Bad Wolf’ has been on a tear since the last O and will be a tough out and Kai Greene will slip under the radar after a poor showing in Las Vegas. That may play right into his hands and ‘The Predator’ cannot be overlooked as a possible top six finisher.
So even though ‘The Rock’ can come into bodybuilding’s most prestigious show on a high note, he will have to peak again just to stand pat.
2011 IFBB Mr. Europe rand Prix Results:
1 – Ronny Rockel
2 – Roelly Winklaar
3 – Flex Lewis
4 – Robert Priotrkowitz
5 – Toney Freeman
6 – Essa Obiad
7 – Sergey Shelestov
8 – Thomas Bengali
9 – Alvin Small
10 – Marcos Chacon