ph. Stefano Grasso/LGCT
The penultimate speed class before the Longines Global Champions Tour of Chantilly, the Prix Equidia Life, was won by a thrilled Brianne Goutal (USA) and Zernike K, who sped to victory in a lightning time of 59.77 seconds. Second went to home rider Simon Delestre (FRA) with Whisper who finished over 2s slower than the winner, but still received rapturous applause from his home crowd. Third place went to Shane Breen (IRE) and Calido Boy who clocked in just 0.53s behind Delestre.
Shane Breen led from 5th in the 46-strong draw until Delestre, at 41st to go, stole the lead by fractions of a second to the delight of the crowd. Of the 16 clear rounds, Goutal was last to go in the draw and rode an electric round to claim top spot from the fast Frenchman. Stand out performances also came from LGCT Championship contenders Scott Brash (GBR) with Hello M’Lady and Doda de Miranda (BRA) with AD Rahmannshof’s Bogeno.
With the Ranking so tight between the top six riders, all eyes will be on this crucial round of the series. Bassem Hassan Mohammed (QAT), Kevin Staut (FRA), Rolf-Göran Bengtsson (SWE) and Scott Brash are all within 40 points of leader Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS) and could take the lead here in Chantilly. The 2011/2012 Champion has led for much of the season but as the series approaches the home straight the competition is reaching fever pitch as the riders focus on the lion’s share of the €1million Championship bonus prize fund.