LGCT and GCL – Australian success nearing half-way mark in the 2021 season
The Longines Global Champions Tour and the Global Champions League have both reached near enough to the half-way mark of their seasons with seven of the scheduled 16 legs completed. Legs have been held in Doha, Madrid, Ramatuelle/Saint Tropez, Valkenswaard, Stockholm, Paris and most recently in Monaco. There is a short break now until Leg 8 at Berlin in late July. At this stage of the season, we thought it a good time to catch up on all the results and the current standings in both competitions, with a particular view of how the only Australian in the 5* competition, Edwina Tops-Alexander has been going.
The season opened in Doha back in March, with the Valkenswaard United team, (Tops-Alexander’s team) starting on a positive note, winning from the Shanghai Swans with the Berlin Eagles in third. This was the first of three wins so far in the season, with a number of minor placings as well for the Valkenswaard United team. All the placings in the Global Champions League from the first seven legs are listed below.
|Leg||Venue||Rd||First Place||Second Place||Third Place|
|1||Doha||R1||Valkenswaard Utd||Shanghai Swans||Berlin Eagles|
|2||Madrid||R1||Shanghai Swans||Madrid in Motion||Valkenswaard Utd|
|2||Madrid||R2||Shanghai Swans||Madrid in Motion||Paris Panthers|
|3||Ram./St Tropez||R1||Shanghai Swans||Valkenswaard Utd||New York Empire|
|3||Ram./St Tropez||R2||Valkenswaard Utd||Shanghai Swans||London Knights|
|4||Valkenswaard||R1||Paris Panthers||Monaco Aces||Prague Lions|
|4||Valkenswaard||R2||Monaco Aces||Valkenswaard Utd||Doha Falcons|
|5||Stockholm||R1||London Knights||Valkenswaard Utd||Paris Panthers|
|5||Stockholm||R2||Valkenswaard Utd||Monaco Aces||Berlin Eagles|
|6||Paris||R1||Cannes Stars||St Tropez Pirates||Prague Lions|
|6||Paris||R2||St Tropez Pirates||Valkenswaard Utd||Cannes Stars|
|7||Monaco||R1||Paris Panthers||Monaco Aces||London Knights|
|7||Monaco||R2||Paris Panthers||Monaco Aces||St Tropez Pirates|
With placings in at all but one of the venues so far, Valkenswaard United have been picking up points consistently and currently have a clear lead in the League standings. The current top six teams in the standings are:
The Valkenswaard United team consist of Edwina Tops-Alexander, Marcus Ehning, Bertram Allen, Peder Fredricson, Alberto Zorzi and their under 25 rider, Gilles Thomas. With three of the top thirty FEI ranked riders in the world in this team as at the end of May (Ehning – 18th, Allen – 29th and Fredricson -7th), they should be right up among the top teams at the end of the season.
In the individual competition, Tops-Alexander has been performing consistently and as a result is leading the individual standings in the Longines Global Champions Tour. Her performances and the resultant point scores for each leg are listed below:
With a total of 152 points, Tops-Alexander’s lead in the series is a small one, being hotly pursued by her Valkenswaard United teammate Peder Fredricson. He is a formidable opponent, having claimed individual Silver at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and this competition is likely to remain fierce for the rest of the season. The current standings are listed below.
While we understand that Tops-Alexander will miss the next Leg of the LGCT at Berlin in 2 week’s time as she prepares to represent Australia at the Tokyo Olympics, it is unclear about whether the second, third and fourth placed riders will compete there, as they are also off to Tokyo to represent their countries. If Tops-Alexander maintains this position to the end of the season to win the series, it will be the third win in the series and she will be the only rider to have achieved this after her wins in 2011 and 2012. There are only two other riders who have won twice, being the British pair of Scott Brash (2013 and 2014) and Ben Maher (2018 and 2018).
We wish Tops-Alexander the best of luck for the rest of the season and look forward to see if she can keep the Australian flag flying high in overseas competition.