It was a race full of twists and turns!
After the elimination at the final vet inspection of the number 1, Saif Ahmed al Mozroui, of the number 2 Jonatan Rivera Riarte and the number 3 Abdulla Ghanim Al Marri, Jaume Punti Dachs, Alex Luque Moral and Sheikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa finally reached the podium.
Jonatan Rivera Riarte was leading when Saif Ahmed al Mozroui suddenly popped by him and finished the race alone at the head, leaving the other riders far behind him.
As they already were Gold and Silver medalists, the 2 Spanish riders also became World Team Champion. Even if Jaume was sad after the elimination of his wife, Maria Alvarez Ponton, he has fully savoured his victory …moved to tears : « Even when you did right, things can go wrong. That’s life ! » But for him today, everything went right. When somebody asked him to whom he dedicated his victory, the response was clear : “I dedicacet victory to my wife Maria, the heart of my family and to Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum who supports me and makes me evoluate”.
Alex Luque Moral said it was “a strange day” for him. “My mare went fast on the 1st loop because there was too many horses close together. I had to slow down to keep energy for the rest of the race. But in the last loop, I decided to really have fun and show everybody what I was able to do”! The result is : 2 medals and only 1,10m behind Jaume.
The last Spanish rider of the team, Angel Soy Coll, had a special day today also. “It was my 1st participation in the team. I did what the team expected from me. I found this race very complicated and very fast” But he did the job well.
If Gold and Silver are for Spain, the Middle East are however on the podium with the Bronze medal of HH Sheikh Nasser Bin Hamad al Khalifa of Bahrain. “I believed in my plan and it worked”.
With a team podium, its 100% European with Spain first, France 2nd and Netherlands 3rd and the Gold and Silver for Spain in individuals competition. Spain also put 3 of her 5 riders in the 6 first places. According to all riders, this race was very difficult, very technical even if there was no mountain loop this year with different floors and hard weather conditions made it even more challenging : rain in the morning, sunny in the middle of the day and almost stormy in the evening.