“It says a lot about the rider himself, about his horses, and about the way he’s working with his horses over a long period.”

Having previously finished 15th and 33rd on the Tour, van der Vleuten is enjoying his best season to date. With runner-up in Shanghai and Cascais Estoril and third-place finishes in Madrid and Mexico City, he has helped himself to more than $330,000 in prize money.

A grand prix victory has also alluded Smolders, although four top five finishes mean he currently heads the overall standings.

In the shadow of the magnificent Ch√Ęteau de Chantilly, both men will be hoping to go one step further this weekend.

The LGCT visits 15 global destinations, starting the season in Miami, Mexico City, and Shanghai before moving to Europe.

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