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Wednesday, January 22, 2020
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Heavyweights line up for championship showdown

Heavyweights line up for championship showdown

A heavyweight line up is on the starting grid for today’s Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Madrid with all to play for in the 2015 championship race.

The Grand Prix will see some formidable combinations in the ring including last year’s winner in Madrid Maikel van der Vleuten who will aim to make it a double on his mount Verdi.

Heavyweights line up for championship showdown


A heavyweight line up is on the starting grid for today’s Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Madrid with all to play for in the 2015 championship race.

Bassem’s slim 7-point lead will come under intense pressure today in the increasingly ferocious battle to take over the No1 spot in the ranking. Click here for the complete ranking list.

Talking ahead of the Grand Prix Bassem said: "Madrid is a very nice show, with many top riders interested in coming here with the big grass arena. I'm really happy to be here"

The young Qatari star, leading on 66 points, will come under attack from second place Hans-Dieter Dreher of Germany on 59 points after his formidable performance in Antwerp last weekend.

Brazil’s Doda de Miranda is in third on 42 points. Great Britain’s Scott Brash, winner of the stunning opening leg on Miami Beach, and Simon Delestre who won the Grand Prix in Antwerp, are both lurking threateningly on 40 points.

There will be hot competition from other international stars high up on the early season ranking board including Edwina Tops-Alexander, Christian Ahlmann, Kent Farrington, Kevin Staut and Lauren Hough.

The Grand Prix will see some formidable combinations in the ring including last year’s winner in Madrid Maikel van der Vleuten who will aim to make it a double on his mount Verdi.

Speaking ahead of the Grand Prix Maikel van der Vleuten said: "It feels very good to be back, I really like this show here in Madrid. I had a very good show here last year, and this year I have the same horse, VDL Groep Verdi TN N.O.P  so we will see what happens. There is a big crowd here, and for me as a rider, it is always a good feeling to have many people on the side of the arena watching us; it gives us good motivation and makes us really want to win".

Reigning Tour champion Scott Brash on his Olympic gold medal mount Hello Sanctos, Marcus Ehning on Plot Blue, Ludger Beerbaum on Chaman, Kent Farrington on Voyeur, Lauren Hough on Ohlala, John Whitaker on Argento, home rider Sergio Alvarez Moya on Carlo, Steve Guerdat on his Olympic gold medal ride Nino des Buissonnets and current ranking leader Bassem Hassan Mohammed on Victoria. To see the full start list click here.

Steve Guerdat said: "It's a very nice show, a beautiful arena and fantastic facilities, so it's a show I really like to come to. There are a lot of good riders, with a lot of good horses, so it's top sport here."

The €320,000 Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Madrid presented by Caixa Bank will see the winner gain 40 points as the fascinating race to the final hots up.

The Grand Prix kicks off at 1700 CET and will be broadcast live on BeIN Sports HD with coverage starting from 1530 and on Equidia and Class Horse TV Global from 1700. Eurosport will broadcast the Grand Prix tomorrow at 1835 CET. GCT TV will broadcast all day from Madrid with live coverage of the Grand Prix from 1700 CET.

On Day 1 at the elegant, lush surroundings, of the Club de Campo Villa de Madrid country club on the edge of the City, Ben Maher and Bertram Allen took the honours in the first two 5* classes.

Next weekend the Tour moves to Shanghai, China, for the fourth stage of the championship race.

Editor’s Note: The Longines Global Champions Tour was founded in 2006 by Dutch Olympic Team Gold medallist Jan Tops. The series attracts the top ranked riders in the world who compete for ranking points and the highest prize money in the sport. World-class sport in breathtaking locations has become the hallmark of the Longines Global Champions Tour experience. All of the 2015 season’s exciting Grand Prix action will be broadcast on Eurosport and can be viewed livevia GCT TV at globalchampionstour.com


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