Darragh Kenny netted the biggest individual win of his career by taking this afternoon’s Longines Cup of Barcelona Grand Prix in what turned out to be an exhibition by Irish riders who filled the top two places and claimed fourth as well.

It was a torrid afternoon for most of the 59 starters – 15 of them didn’t even complete the course –  but the Irish were in a class of their own, producing three clear rounds in quick succession.

First of those came from Shane Breen and Golden Hawk, with Kenny and Go Easy De Muse next to defy the course, before Greg Broderick went clear as well on MHS Going Global.

Only three other riders out of the huge field managed to join the Irish trio in the jump-off. Italy’s Juan Carlos Garcia was first to go and came home with 4 faults on Gitano v.Berkenbroek. It was then over to the three Irish riders, first of whom, Shane Breen, came home clear to take the lead. Kenny followed and got around intact and almost two seconds faster to edge Breen back to second. Greg Broderick and MHS Going Global then went in serious pursuit of the lead and looked a real threat but the clock ticked just past Kenny’s time by 0.17 of a second.

That left two German riders to chase Kenny’s lead. Ludger Beerbaum went first with Chiara and got clear but his time didn’t challenge the leading two though it did put him in third ahead of Breen. Last to go was Janne Friederike Meyer on Goja who went all out for glory and were fractions ahead on the clock but failed to clear the last oxer, leaving Kenny in first place, with Broderick second ahead of Beerbaum, and Shane Breen in fourth.

It was Kenny’s second win of the week and the biggest individual win of his career, justifying the faith he had in Go Easy De Muse when he first acquired the ride just a matter of months ago.

On Friday he claimed the El Periodico Trophy with Fixdesign Funke van’t Heike at the Spanish venue.

Mike Dunne

Photo:  left to right Greg Broderick, Darragh Kenny and Ludger Beerbaum at the presentation ceremony for the Longines Cup in Barcelona.