Hamburg Giants team, which includes French rider Titouan Schumacher and Dutchman Bart Bles, claimed their first-ever Global Champions League victory defeating host city team Berlin Eagles in the 13th leg of the GCL series.
Miami Celtics retain their overall lead on 235 points, slightly extending their advantage over Shanghai Swans sitting four points behind on 231, while London Knights are on 228 points along with St Tropez Pirates.
The series leaders, Miami Celtic, made a tactical team change substituting Briton William Whitaker for Tipperary’s Shane Breen to try and keep them on 4 fault from the first round. Breen rode Ipswich van de Wolfsakker were on course for a well-deserved clear until a crushing blow at the final fence as the pole rolled.
Last year’s GCL Super Cup winners, Madrid In Motion, had a GCL Round 1 score of 12 points and Ireland’s Michael G Duffy riding Lapuccino 2 picked up four faults at one of the challenging oxers and one time fault as well, while his teammate Maikel van der Vleuten riding Beauville Z jumped clear.
With only 4 faults from Round 1, the Hamburg Giants were in with a strong chance to overturn their record and get on the podium. France’s Titouan Schumacher and Atome Z managed to put in an impressive time and go fault free, while Bart Bles delivered a clear to leave them as the only team on 4 faults in total.
Berlin Eagles’ Christian Kukuk and Limoncello NT had the back rail of yellow oxer down, then had the first part of the Longines double combination down for a total of 8 ending their hopes of a back to back victory. German Ludger Beerbaum, riding Casello, then produced a clear round for a total score of 8.
London Knights made a tactical switch in Round 2 from Swiss Martin Fuchs to Belgian Olivier Philippaerts with H&M Legend of Love. The Belgian combination picked up 4 at the DKB oxer, however. His twin brother Nicola Philippaerts and Katanga v H Dingeshof then saw the middle of the triple combination fall for 4 faults, leaving the Knights to finish 8, missing out on the podium.
The GCL moves to London this weekend with the Royal Hospital Chelsea hosting the 14th of the series.