Photo: GCL / Stefano Grasso
The 13th round of the Global Champions League looks set to be a cracker, with the 18 teams pulling out all the stops as the circuit heads to Valkenswaard, The Netherlands. With the overall Championship battle on a knife-edge, all eyes will be on which team riders will be selected for this crucial leg of the season race, with tactics, strategy and team rivalries all coming into play.
Star strikers will be out in full effect, notably home hero Harrie Smolders and his U25 teammate Jos Verlooy of the Hamburg Diamonds - the latter with the unenviable task of being the first rider to go as the first round kicks off. Although the team drew the short straw in the order, the Diamonds are a mere three points away from reigning Champions Valkenswaard United as the battle for the Championship features more turns than a Formula 1 track.
Intent on keeping hold of their lead, Valkenswaard United will bring out the big guns for the first round of their home event, as the legendary Marcus Ehning and consistently clear Alberto Zorzi take over the reigns today. Sporting the silver armbands with pride, the blue and orange team will be hoping for all the local support, and a home turf boost as they look to put the team in the best possible position ahead of tomorrow’s final.
Third place team, the Mexico Amgios have also put forward a formidable line-up, with Christian Ahlmann and Henrik von Eckermann teaming up for this round of action. Miami Glory will put forward their anchor rider, Scott Brash, fresh from his success in London, alongside the super talented Paris Sellon - the U25 putting in some phenomenal clears for the team.
The spectacular Tops International Arena is the spiritual home of the Global Champions League and is a venue riders look forward to competing in. Designed for the horse, the expansive arena will see the top riders and horses in the world combine forces to collect valuable ranking points as the Championship gallops towards its culmination.
Dutch fans will have plenty to cheer about, as Maikel van der Vleuten and Leopold van Asten join forces for Madrid in Motion, while young Dutch talent Kevin Jochems we be in action for the Moscow Bears. Leading French rider Simon Delestre will be back with best friend and teammate Jerome Guery for the St Tropez Pirates - the pair a formidable combination throughout the season.
The action kicks off at 18:45 local time, with the class streamed on GCL TV and via FB Live. For the full team list, please click here.