Paris – Wishing to save its place for the Olympics 2020, France has healed its first outing of the season, Friday in La Baule, to be ranked 3rd in the Jumping Nations Cup, behind Switzerland supported by a phenomenal Steve Guerdat.
For the launch of the 2019 series of the prestigious Nations Cup, the Swiss won with 4 points, hanging the victory at the very last passage, that of the world No.1 Guerdat, which has achieved a double without fault on the competition. The Helvetians win the race for the second time in history, ten years after their first success.
Belgium, elbow-to-elbow with Switzerland, was second, ahead of France (8 points), revving on the second set with three clear rounds.
The French, who are looking for a strong team to hang an Olympic ticket at the end of August after failing last summer, were rather well illustrated, with special mention to Thierry Rozier. The son of Marcel Rozier, Olympic champion in 1976, and the brother of Philippe Rozier, Olympic champion 2016, did not miss anything on his mare Venezia d'Ecaussinnes. He joined the France team last year, at age 54.
Olympic champion 2016, France was eager to return to the top of the table while for 2 years, she is in great difficulty. At the World Equestrian Games in September in Tryon (USA), she failed to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics – unlike Switzerland or Germany. The Euros in Rotterdam (19-25 August) will be one of the last chances to fly to the Games.
– 'Strong Nerves' –
The new coach Thierry Pomel, arrived in January, has 3 months to find the winning composition. In La Baule, he has aligned Nicolas Delmotte (on Ilex VP), Thierry Rozier (Ecaussinnes Venezia), Penelope Leprevost (Lanlore Vancouver), Alexis Deroubaix (Timon d'Aure) and put reservist Simon Delestre (Will Uccello) .
Leprevost was the only one in La Baule to be gold medalist at the Rio Olympics. Another Olympic champion 2016, Kevin Staut will be tested on the next two events, in Rome and St. Gallen (Switzerland).
"I will mix things after La Baule, I can not rely on 4 or 5 couples, the group must be 9 or 10 couples. We must evaluate the potential to go to the European Championships", stressed Pomel, who will begin"to tighten things up"Mid-July after the competitions of Aachen (Germany) and Falsterbo (Sweden).
"There will be extra pressure at the European Championships due to the Olympic qualification. I will have to rely on riders with strong nerves and able to get a result", warned Pomel.