Three British riders are set to take part in this stage of the Tour, including Scott Brash – currently third in the overall standings. He is joined by Emily Moffitt and Michael Whitaker, while second-place Ben Maher is not coming to Portugal this year. For its part, Ireland has gone all in for the event from June 14–16, with eight of its top athletes among the entries: Bertram Allen, Michael Duffy, Michael G. Duffy, Cameron Hanley, Darragh Kenny, Denis Lynch and Mark McAuley.
As at other stages of the series, much attention will be on Saturday’s €300,000 Grand Prix of Cascais Estoril, scheduled for 9:30 p.m. local time. Australia’s Edwina Tops-Alexander, the current leader in the standings after having won the Tour title in 2011 and 2012, will be aiming to strengthen her series lead through that class in the absence of Maher.
But she will be facing a strong 5* field all eyeing the same prize over the obstacles up to 1.60 m, including the home nation’s Luciana Diniz and four of her compatriots, a strong German contingent featuring Christian Ahlmann, Ludger Beerbaum, Daniel Deusser and Marcus Ehning, and Italy’s Lorenzo De Luca, Piergiorgio Bucci and Alberto Zorzi. France, Switzerland and Belgium are among the other nations represented by elite riders of the sport in the town, which has also hosted the America’s Cup of sailing, as well as golf, tennis, surfing and motorsports competitions.
Aside from the individual LGCT battle (whose Grand Prix winners qualify for the Super Grand Prix at the end of the year in Prague), the team Global Champions League competition also continues in Portugal this weekend, which also leads to play-offs for the top 16 teams in the Czech Republic in December. The current leaders are the London Knights squad, followed by Valkenswaard United and the Shanghai Swans, and the make-up of the teams can be seen here. There will also be CSI2* classes at the event, offering opportunities for local athletes as well as up-and-coming international riders to progress in their careers.
Easily accessible from the capital, Cascais was historically a small fishing village until King Luís I choose it as his royal summer retreat in the 19th century. Other rich Portuguese followed in his footsteps, building lavish villas, mansions and gardens in the town.