(Photo: Stefano Grasso/LGCT)
By Global Champions Tour
Gregory Wathelet and Riesling Du Monselet headed up a Belgian 1st and 2nd in the final fast and furious two-phase Prova Mercedes Benz class before tonight’s feature Grand Prix. Wathelet came from the middle of the draw to claim the victory in a time of 33.08s ahead of his countryman Nicola Philippaerts and Cortez who finished just 0.03s behind. Third went to Roger-Yves Bost (FRA) and Castle Forbes Vivaldo vh Costersveld who initially looked to be the winners with their usual turn of speed, but Bosty had to settle for 3rd with a time of 33.33s after his win yesterday morning.
Of the 42 starters, just twelve jumped a double clear, including Scott Brash (GBR), Athina Onassis de Miranda (GRE), Daniel Deusser (GER), Michael Whitaker (GBR), Emanuele Gaudiano (ITA) and Henrik von Eckermann (SWE). So far, Frank Rothenberger’s courses have been tough and testing, and no doubt a sign of things to come in the Grand Prix this evening.
From 6.30pm this beautiful lush green arena on the stunning Portuguese coast will host the 8th Grand Prix of the season. Following his win last night, Scott Brash looks to be on unbeatable form ahead of this influential round. If the 2013 Champion can win this evening and Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS) does not collect any points, Brash could well leap from 7th to 3rd on the Ranking. But Tops-Alexander has been one of the most consistent riders on the Tour collecting points in six of the eight Grand Prix she has started in so far.
Alternatively, a win tonight would put Bassem Hassan Mohammed (QAT) or Emanuele Gaudiano in with a definite shot of taking over the No1 spot from the absent Kevin Staut (FRA). Mohammed was a jubilant winner in Monaco a few weeks ago and could well put in another world-beating performance tonight. Gaudiano has been quietly collecting points and has remained within the Top Ten throughout the season so far. Can he step up and claim the first LGCT Grand Prix victory of his career here in Portugal?
Watch the 8th round of the 2014 Championship live from Cascais, Estoril on GCT, Equidia Life and ClassHorseTV tonight from 18.30pm local time and from 21.00pm CET on Eurosport.