Europe undefeatable in the Riders Masters Cup
Despite the opening of the event to the entire American continent this year, despite a very good first round of the American team, despite the legends that made up this team, nothing was done. The Riders Masters Cup smiled at Europe again... For the fifth time in a row!
On paper, the American chances for this fifth edition of the Riders Masters Cup, the “signature” event of the Longines Masters of Paris, launched in 2017 at the initiative of EEM, with Longines as Founding Partner, the American team could largely reverse the trend and for the first time, win an event that Robert Ridland’s team has never put to its credit. On paper only… Without appeal, Europe, led by Swedish team leader Henrik Ankarcrona, wins on the Paris-Villepinte track. Final score: 125 for the Old Continent, 80 for the New World.
A first round dominated by the Americans
He could be confident… For the first time in the history of the event, Robert Ridland’s team led the Riders Masters Cup, Opus 2019. It must be said that this year’s regulations, designed for the beauty of sport and entertainment, opened the selections to riders from all over the American continent, allowing the team leader to go and pick from the homes of, among others, Canadians and Brazilians. Good pickaxe! Ridland had no less than three Olympic champions in his team tonight: American Laura Kraut, Brazilian Rodrigo Pessoa and Canadian Eric Lamaze. On the track, the Transatlantic team won three of the five duels, thanks to the performances of the strong man of the moment, Brazilian Marlon Módolo Zanotelli, and the champions Kraut and Pessoa. On the European side, the team’s Olympic champion, Kevin Staut of France and Henrik von Eckermann of Sweden, each had four penalty points. At that point in the competition, the Ridland five could still believe it… Provisional score: 35 points for the Europeans, 40 points for the Americas.
Round two: Europe takes control again
In the second race, on the other hand, the European riders are getting back on their feet… and are also benefiting from the relaxation of the Americans, who had all changed their horses. Perfect in the first round, Zanotelli is eliminated (two disobediences). Same punishment for young Canadian Kara Chad, also eliminated. Only the legend Pessoa emerged as the winner of his duel against the Swede Henrik von Eckermann. In the footsteps of the very fit European champion and reigning world vice-champion Martin Fuchs of Switzerland, Europe finally won four of the five duels… and folded the event for the fifth time, out of five! Starting as an opener in both races, double clear rounds, Fuchs commented, in front of packed stands: “I feel very good at the Longines Masters in Paris. Five years ago, I won the Grand Prix. It’s the first time since I’ve been back on this competition. The Americans have only one more day to register names for the 2019 Longines Masters of Paris; beyond their victory in the Riders Masters Cup, the Europeans have so far won all the events of the first two days of competition, with the exception of the One Hubside Masters, folded yesterday by the Brazilian Modolo Zanotelli. Yes they can… maybe…