Nicola Philippaerts has pulled off a stunning second victory in the Longines Global Champions Tour, taking the title in the Grand Prix of Chantilly.
It was a closely-fought contest until the very last rider, with Ben Maher nearly knocking the Belgium rider off the top spot. However, Explosion W had the last fence down which saw him drop to fifth place.
Nicola was second to go out of 10 combinations in the jump-off. His impressive stallion H&M Chilli Willi powered around the arena, jumping clear in a time of 37.26sec. It was a time that proved to be beatable, but the pressure saw poles falling.
Germany’s Daniel Deusser looked dangerous with the diminutive chestnut stallion Tobago Z. Despite their quick turns the pair couldn’t match Nicola’s time, and they broke the beam just hundredths of a second behind on 37.30s to move into second place.
Others riders were forced into making mistakes, including Ben and Jerome Guery who were both faster than Nicola, but incurred four faults.
Italy’s Alberto Zorzi was the only other rider to jump clear with Contanga, but his time of 38.63sec put him in third place.
As this was Nicola’s second Grand Prix win, his place in the Longines Global Champions Tour Super Grand Prix goes to second placed Daniel.
Despite narrowly missing out on another win, Ben has extended his lead in the LGCT championship ranking and is now 38 points ahead of closest rival Edwina Tops-Alexander.