The jump-off of the latest Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Stockholm has many times been described as an Olympic rematch between Olympians like Fredricson, Baryard-Johnsson, Von Eckermann, Van Der Vleuten and Maher. But in the ultimate phase of the competition it was Henrik von Eckermann going last in the jump-off to take on Christian Ahlmann who had posted the leading time, with Olympic Champion Ben Maher at that point in 3rd on the returning Explosion W.
Adjustability vs stride
Already in the first line Ahlmann got ahead, riding one stride less in the 180° turn from 1 to 2. With that approach however the German got fence 2 on the angle and had a longer approach for 3, on the standard 6 strides. Von Eckermann recovered from his set back in the 1st line by riding one stride less and even got ahead of Ahlmann in the landing after 3.
But in the next 2 turns Ahlmann with the very adjustable Dominator 2000 Z got in front of the Swede again, especially after a brilliant roll-back to the Old Town House-vertical. The LGCT Championship leader knew that the King Edward had the bigger stride and was a big threat in the last lines to the lead he had, mid-way the final line was a must
The last line of the jump-off was made up by the LGCT vertical, fence 11 from round 1 and the Longines oxer at 13, replacing the Viking Ship from the initial round. Italian course designer Uliano Vezzani had initially foreseen a 4 stride line from the Aurora Borealis plank to the Viking Ship, but with the curve of the ring in the Olympic Stadium leaving him not enough room he decided last minute to bring the Viking Ship one stride back, at 3 from the Aurora Borealis planks.
Looking at the difference between the 2 rivals at the mid-way stage of the final line and the 0.11 seconds separating them at the finish line, it’s clear that Von Eckermann had the higher speed in the last part closing in on Ahlmann drastically.
Had Vezzani gone ahead with his original plan to position the Viking Ship oxer 4m further, it would have been the Swedish anthem being played in the Stockholm Stadium.
LGCT Grand Prix Analysis
The 2 most influential lines are directed in a new edition of the LGCT Grand Prix Analysis, where also the jump-off rounds are also analyzed stride by stride.
You find it here, on a GCTV Pro Pass.