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Maikel van der Vleuten thrills in LGCT Doha curtain raiser

Thursday, 28 February 2019
CSI5* LGCT Doha 2019

Photo (c) LGCT / Stefano Grasso. Maikel van der Vleuten and Arera C. Photo (c) LGCT / Stefano Grasso.


Press release from the Longines Global Champions Tour 


The Longines Global Champions Tour of Doha kicked off in style this afternoon with a win from Maikel van der Vleuten in the first CSI5* class of the weekend. As the curtains lifted for the first time in the 2019 tour, over 50 riders took to AL SHAQAB's magnificent arena to contest for the win in the first competition of the year. 

And the first speed class of the LGCT 2019 season was a flat out thriller. The speed battle between Bassem Hassan Mohammed (QAT) and Julien Epaillard (FRA) continued from last year, putting Julien Epaillard into an early lead with a time of 25.20s. He did, however, drop down to finish in a very respectable fourth place. While trying to catch Julien Epaillard’s time, Bassam knocked the second to last fence leaving him to finish as one of the fastest four-faulters. 

Christian Ahlmann jumped in his iconic blue and yellow jacket and had obviously planned to take his 11-year-old mare for a quiet stretch of the legs, picking up two-time faults. 

Maikel van der Vleuten (NED) and Arera C (Indoctro x Voltaire) were drawn in the latter half of the order and took the win by over half a second from the flying Frenchman Simon Delestre (FRA) coming over the line in 24.40 seconds. Henrik von Eckermann (SWE) riding Que Bueno de Hus Z (Que Guapo x Canto) finished in 3rd place just 0.03 seconds slower than Simon's time of 24.98 seconds proving how tight and fast the competition was. 

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