The Longines Global Champions Tour of Monaco once again played host to the Longines Pro Am Cup on Thursday evening, which sees an amateur and professional rider pair up to compete for the coveted title with a focus on speed and agility. With €25,000 euros raised for the Amade Charity, it was a fantastic evening for all.
The competition, which is in its eleventh year, was launched by Patron Charlotte Casiraghi in 2010. Emphasising the family spirit of the sport, its pace and relay format make it a real crowd-pleaser. Set over two rounds, 10 teams took part all battling to jump clear and with the fastest combined time.
And as the evening lights of Monte Carlo began to twinkle, the teams continued to battle it out for a podium finish as the crowd clapped and cheered the athletes on. Madame Charlotte Casirghi presented the award to tonight’s podium along with CEO of Longines Matthias Breschan and France’s Longines Brand Manager Olivier Pacini, who gave the winners an elegant Longines watch.
Sean Monaghan and Alex O’Connor of Team The Underwriting Exchange threw down the gauntlet after O’Connor set off at a cracking pace to set a combined time of 63.40 seconds. A smiling Alex spoke after his blistering round: “We targeted this show as we know it is a nice show… and it paid off! It’s incredible, it doesn’t really feel real, it's a great experience and I am so happy to be here.”
Pro rider Sean Monaghan said: “We’re absolutely thrilled, Alex, to be fair, he set this class out a couple of months ago - he’s been training quite hard for it, I was lucky to get to compete today - Alex did all the work so all credit to him. This show is amazing, a real credit to the Global Tour. To ride at a show like this is phenomenal, so we are absolutely delighted to be here!”
All eyes turned to Team CTM, the team who had been so impressive in the first round. A lightning ride from Melina Pappas meant all the pressure was on pro rider Emanuele Gaudiano as they finished on the only other clean sheet of the day in 65.05 sec to secure second place on the podium.
Last to go Team Le Casino Monte-Carlo risked it all as Marine Platini and Ines Joly put the pedal to the metal but an unlucky fault meant they finished fastest on four faults and secured third place on the podium today.