The opening European leg of the Longines Global Champions Tour and GCL season takes place in Madrid this weekend, and features an A-list line-up of riders.
The LGCT ranking race is hotting up, with two-time LGCT-champion Scott Brash (GBR) currently out in front on 99 points. The British rider holds a 27 point lead from nearest rivals Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS) and Daniel Deusser (GER), both of whom sit on 72 points, and are just one point ahead of fourth placed Gregory Wathelet (BEL), showing the intensity of the competition at this early stage of the Tour.
So far this season, three riders have claimed a golden ticket to the GC Prague Play Offs which will welcome back each LGCT Grand Prix winner for the Longines Global Champions Super Grand Prix as well as the top 16 GCL teams for a thrilling face off in the Czech capital city. LGCT Grand Prix winners Brash (LGCT Mexico City), Tops-Alexander (LGCT Miami Beach) and Wathelet (Shanghai LGCT) have all secured their place at the Play Offs this December, and will be back in action this weekend in Madrid.
However they face stiff competition as a multitude of top athletes will be flexing their muscles in Madrid. The fourth leg of the 2018 LGCT and GCL welcomes back former podium holders Marcus Ehning (GER), Maikel van der Vleuten (NED), Gerco Schroder (NED) and home hero Eduardo Alvarez Aznar (ESP) – all of whom know and love this special venue.
Fans will also have the chance to witness many of the biggest names in the sport take centre stage, with the likes of Ludger Beerbaum (GER), Eric Lamaze (CAN), John Whitaker (GBR), Simon Delestre (FRA), Lorenzo de Luca (ITA), Bertram Allen (IRL), Ben Maher (GBR), Nicola Philippaerts (BEL), Philipp Weishaupt (GER), Daniel Deusser (GER), Sergio Alvarez Moya (ESP), Michael Whitaker (GBR), Laura Kraut (USA), Pieter Devos (BEL) and Cian O’Connor (IRL) all heading to the sultry Spanish capital.
Set in Madrid’s beautiful country club, the Club de Campo Villa de Madrid, the world’s best show jumpers will compete in the picturesque grass arena, bringing horses suited to wide, galloping spaces. The elegant Club de Campo Villa de Madrid is a well-known venue in the city and an important hub for those passionate about equestrianism. Last year saw an incredible atmosphere, with passionate and knowledgable fans lining the arena, and a crowd of 26,000 in attendance during the event.
All the action will be streamed live, via the Global Champions website, as well as select classes streamed via the official Facebook page. Live studios, featuring exclusive interviews with the stars, talk shows, detailed analysis and expert commentary will all combine for an immersive viewing experience, so tune in to make sure you don’t miss a minute.
Full riders list at this link.