Ireland’s Bertram Allen and Hector van d’Abdijhoeve just failed to catch Gregory Wathelet of Belgium on Eldorado van het Vijverhof in a thrilling jump-off for the Longines Masters Grand Prix in Paris this afternoon.

The Belgian rider scorched to the top in the eight-way finale when knocking five-and-a-half seconds of the lead time of Great Britain’s John Whitaker (Ornellaia). Allen was next to jump and as usual went in hot pursuit, but missed out by 0.22 of a second.

Allen was followed by Daniel Deusser, bidding for his second successive Masters title, but while the German got Equita van’t Zorgvliet home intact, he had to settle for third on time.

Last to go was Simon Delestre of France, but a refusal with Chesall Zimequest meant there was no fairytale conclusion for the home spectators.

Ireland’s Cameron Hanley and Cas 2 didn’t make the jump-off after a four-fault first round, but on a day when fences tumbled in abundance, their relatively fast time was good enough for place money.

Mike Dunne

Longines Masters Grand Prix Paris
1. Eldorado van het Vijverhof/Gregory Wathelet (BEL) 0/0 41.86
2. Hector van d’Abdijhoeve/Bertram Allen (IRL) 0/0 42.08
3. Equita van’t Zorgvliet/Daniel Deusser (GER) 0/0 43.81
4. Ornellaia/John Whitaker (GBR) 0/0 47.35
5. Cornet Kalua/Max Kuhner (AUT) 0/4 45.14