Did you know that the Global Champions Tour started in 2006, and that the tour back then only had six legs - Palm Beach, Cannes, Monte Carlo, Estoril, Valkenswaard and Lanaken. 131 riders took part in the very first season, and Ludo Philippaerts won the overall standing after winning the legs both in Monte Carlo and in Estoril.
In 2007 the tour consisted of eight venues and Lanaken was replaced and instead Sao Paulo, Arezzo and Athens became hosts. The 131 riders had now become 163 and Nick Skelton took home the overall standing. For 2008 year's season Palm Beach and Athens fell away, and Doha and Hamburg were added as new show grounds. Jessica Kürten won the final in Sao Paulo that was open for the 18th best from the other legs only.
In 2009 yet another venue was added to the tour and it was Valencia in Spain. This time it was Michel Robert with Kellemoi de Pepita who took home the final. The year after the tour stuck with its nine legs, but Torino and Chantilly were new destinations. After two years with a final, the GCT went back to an overall winner. It was a close call between Marcus Ehning and Marco Kutscher, but in the end Marcus ended 7 points ahead of Marco.
In 2011 yet another leg was added to the tour and Abu Dhabi turned up as a new venue and hosted the last leg. Edwina Tops-Alexander took home the overall standing; and this year she repeated the victory after ending on the same score as Rolf-Göran Bengtsson after the first eleven legs. Vienna, Wiesbaden and Lausanne were new venues for the 2012 season.
Can't help but being curious about how many legs the 2013 GCT season will consist of and which new venues we get to see! Both London and Madrid looks to be among the new hosts!
Source: Global Champions Tour
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