After eleven rounds of the inaugural Global Champions League, Valkenswaard United finally get to host a home leg as the action moves to the Dutch location this weekend, writes Mike Dunne.
The home team arrive as league leaders, and, with just three further rounds to come, must fancy their chances of being first to claim the GCL title.
Valkenswaard have been on or near the top of the standings ever since winning the first leg in Miami in April. They are closely pursued by Antwerp Diamonds and Monaco Aces, with Rome Gladiators keeping in touch with the leaders. However, for the other eight teams in the league, something big will have to happen if they are to get into the shake-up.
Five of those are below the 200 points mark (see table below) and their hopes of overall success look a little forlorn at present. Still, there is plenty of incentive in each round in the series with €200,000 in prize money on offer.
The two riders who will compete for Valkenswaard on this occasion have yet to be named, but out of their squad of five, Bertram Allen, Emily Moffitt, John Whitaker and Alberto Zorzi are all due at the Dutch venue, with only Eduardo Menezes absent.
Apart from the €200,000 in prize money for each event, there is a further €1.5 million to be shared when the final standings are known.
After this weekend, the next round of the league takes place in September in Rome, with the penultimate leg in Vienna, also in September. The final leg will be held in Doha in November.
Global Champions League current standings:
Valkenswaard United 256.50
Antwerp Diamonds 251.00
Monaco Aces 249.50
Rome Gladiators 240.50
Cannes Stars 219.00
Paris Jets 208.50
Shanghai Swans 203.00
Cascais Charms 199.50
Doha Fursan Qatar 197.00
Miami Glory 193.00
Vienna Eagles 190.50
Madrid In Motion 186.00
Scoring per round: 1st.30 2nd.27 3rd.25 4th.23 5th.20 6th.19 7th.18 8th.17 9th.16 10th.15 11th.14 12th.13.