In a tense finale to the Mexico City leg of the Global Champions League this evening Bertram Allen clinched victory for Valkenswaard United with the last round of the contest.

Having led with a team total of zero faults from Thursday’s opening round, Valkenswaard slipped back to second for a time after Italian Alberto Zorzi on Cornetto K had four faults as first to go for the team.

It meant that St. Tropez Pirates led at the halfway point in this evening’s contest, as their first rider Simon Delestre got home clear on Hermes Ryan to leave his team carrying just the single time penalty that had them in second place after Thursday’s round.

However their second rider Jerome Guery picked up eight faults on Grand Cru van de Rozenberg , leaving Bertram Allen with the task of coming home with less than eight faults on Hector van d’Abdijhoeve, and the Irish rider kept the damage to a single pole to claim victory.

Valkenswaard were overall champions in last year’s inaugural GCL, and Allen was happy afterwards that the team had the perfect start as they bid to defend their title. “We’re following the same strategy as last year, which seems to work – get the team out in front and then try to keep it going.”

St. Tropez Pirates had to settle for second place, with Chantilly Pegasus (Martin Fuchs and Nicola Philippaerts) taking third on 12 faults.

Cian O’Connor was not in action in this leg for his team Miami Glory, for whom Scott Brash and Paris Sellon took fourth on the same total as Chantilly but with a slower overall time.

Darragh Kenny’s team Paris Panthers were represented this evening by Jack Towell and Jennifer Gates, but the latter’s 21-fault round saw the team end up 13th.

Michael Kearins was first into the arena this evening for Moscow Bears, and came home with 9 faults, but with the team carrying a large total over from Thursday, they ended up in 17th place.

Mike Dunne

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