On this Thursday morning, everyone was in the starting block for the first round of the Nation's Cup at the European Championships. Don't forget that for certain countries, these rounds will determine whether they earn a ticket to the Olympic Games of London. Thankfully, Belgium is not in this position... thanks to a medal at the World Championships, Belgium is already qualified for the Olympics.
Today's class started at 2pm in what would prove to be a difficult course, made even more so by the extreme heat of nearly 30 degrees.
Belgium's team consists of Philippe Lejeune, Dirk Demeersman, Jos Lansink, Gregory Wathelet, and Judy Ann Melchior as the fifth rider who rides in the case a substitute is needed but nonetheless, plays an important role on this united team!
Dirk was the first Belgian to try the course. Yesterday in the speed class, he jumped clear but this afternoon he left the course with 12 faults. Next was Gregory's turn. He finished the speed course with no faults and continued with the same score on the first day of team competition. Philippe was next to go and finished with four faults, matching his score from the prior day. The last to go was Jos who also had four faults the day before and, unfortunately for the team, finished with four faults today. The second round will take place Friday.
After the first round of the Nation's Cup team competition at the European Championships, Holland is in the lead. But anything is possible for Belgium given how close the points are between the next five teams. In terms of the individual championships, despite the team placing being Gregory's prioirty, Gregory sits 4th overall after today's round.