DOHA, With attendance of HE Sheikh Joaan in Hamad Al Thani, President of the Qatar Olympic Committee, the Longines Global Champions Tour of Doha kicked off in style yesterday with a win from Maikel van der Vleuten in the first CSI5* class of the weekend.

As the curtains lifted for the first time in the 2019 Championship, over 50 riders took to AL SHAQAB's magnificent arena to contest for the win in the first competition of the year.

The first speed class of the LGCT 2019 season was a flat out thriller as Maikel van der Vleuten (NED) took the win by over half a second from the flying Frenchman Simon Delestre (FRA) coming over the line in 24.40 seconds. Henrik von Eckermann (SWE) riding Que Bueno de Hus Z finished in 3rd place just 0.03 seconds slower than Simon's time of 24.98 seconds proving how tight and fast the competition was.

In Team Event, Monaco Aces kicked off their 2019 GCL campaign in determined style combining speed and pinpoint accuracy to take the lead going into Saturday's showdown.

Ten out of the 16 teams jumped double clears as it quickly became clear the new GCL teams had more strength and depth and motivation is at an all time high to win the championship.

The fresh Aces duo of Jos Verlooy and Marlon Monolo Zanotelli, teaming up for the first time after transferring from other teams, were almost three seconds faster than Hamburg Giants who finished in second place ahead of Shanghai Swans in third.

Source: Qatar Olympic Committee