Monaco Aces claimed their first Longines Global Champions League title of the season in a closely contested fourth leg of the series in Shanghai.
The Aces went into the arena knowing a double clear would win them the competition, but a fast four faults could also do the job.
France's Julien Epaillard took up the reins with Vituose Champeix, earning a clear round before handing over responsibility to Belgian team-mate Jerome Guery, riding Garfield de Tiji Des Templiers.
Despite knocking a plank down on the penultimate barrier, Guery finished in a time that bettered that of the earlier leading effort set by the formidable Paris Panthers pairing of Ireland’s Darragh Kenny – second by a whisker in the previous night’s centrepiece of the Global Champions Tour Grand Prix – and Belgium’s Gregory Wathelet.
A strong performance by Paris Panthers propelled them up the leaderboard, but Shanghai Swans retain top position after four events with an 11-point lead from second-place St Tropez Pirates, with Monaco Aces five points behind in third.
“It was super today,” said Epaillard.
“It was a lot of pressure which is very bad for the heart!”
Guery added that the pressure had been intense on the whole team, including Marlon Monolo Zanotelli, who had ridden on day one: “ Julien was amazing and I fought for the victory.”
The Championship now heads to Europe where Madrid will be the next stage for the LGCT and GCL series from May 17 to 19.