In the shadow of the Cresta Run, the green jersey of the King of the Mountains moved significantly closer for Britain’s Ian Williams as he topped the league table at the St. Moritz Match Race.
That gave him an automatic place in the semi-finals, a guaranteed 16 points towards his bid to win the World Match Race Tour for the third time, and a guaranteed minimum CHF16,000 of prize money for his Team GAC Pindar.
The icing on the cake was the defeat of series leader Francesco Bruni in the last race of the round robin. It sent the series leader home to Italy, missing the quarter final cut and knowing that Williams was poised to take over at the top overall having beaten every other competitor but one, ending with a 10-1 scoreline..
The sole loss to Jéromie Clerc was only because, when leading, Williams had to avoid competitors in a concurrent race and that allowed Clerc to sneak through.
“Ian was very lucky, it just wasn’t our day,” said Matteo Auguadro after the first attempt at a race had been abandoned to cope with a major shift in the direction of the wind when Bruni was ahead..
“We kept it close and waited for our moment,” said Williams. “We worked hard for this.”
Unlike the Tour de France, progress to the winning tape is anything but downhill all the way. Williams has two consecutive wins under his belt, in Portugal and Sweden but he also has momentum and confidence. The whole season will still be decided at the final regatta, the Monsoon Cup, in Malaysia.