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Temperatures soar for blistering LGCT Grand Prix of Hamburg

Release date: 27/05/2017

Maikel van der Vleuten (NED) has a prime opportunity to overtake current series ranking leader Lorenzo de Luca (ITA) in today’s Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix as the world’s top riders go into battle in Hamburg’s Derby Park.

The Dutch star is only 9 points behind Lorenzo (133 points) in the fight for the LGCT 2017 title and has his top ride Verdi ready to take advantage of the Italian’s absence. The race for the championship is hotting up with a power-packed group of top athletes hot on the heels of the leaders. Only 14 points separate Harrie Smolders (NED), Jack Hardin Towell (USA), Scott Brash (GBR) and Alberto Zorzi (ITA).

The Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Hamburg will feature a heavyweight field of athletes including a star-studded line up of German riders who will be cheered on by a huge crowd of supporters - last year’s event attracted almost 90,000 spectators.

Ludger Beerbaum, Christian Ahlmann, Marcus Ehning, Marco Kutscher, Daniel Deusser, David Will, Janne-Friederike Meyer-Zimmerman and Andreas Kreuzer are among the big home names in contention for the Grand Prix. There will be passionate support too for the German stars competing today on teams in the Global Champions League. They will need to qualify to be among the 25 riders going into the Grand Prix.

Also in contention will be leading riders including Simon Delestre (FRA), Scott Brash (GBR), Bertram Allen (IRL), Laura Kraut (USA), Gregory Wathelet (BEL), Harrie Smolders (NED), Lauren Hough (USA) and Olivier Philippaerts (BEL). As well as top sport there will also be emotion later in the afternoon when last year’s LGCT Champion Rolf-Goran Bengtsson retires his legendary stallion Casall ASK. The incredible duo will compete for the last time together at the LGCT in Hamburg before Casall ASK exits competitive show jumping in a special ceremony.

Julien Epaillard and Quatrine de la Roque, Denis Lynch and RMF Echo and Bertram Allen and Molly Malone all achieved impressive wins in the earlier classes putting them on the radar for a strong showing in the big class.

The sweeping 150m x 80m grass arena will be a fantastic amphitheatre for an afternoon of high octane show jumping action. Tens of thousands of fans will be ringing the arena and families will take advantage of the glorious sunshine to have picnics on the grassy banks with prime views.