Bertram Allen gets Valkenswaard United off to a winning start

Allen and team mate Alberto Zorzi come from behind to beat the St Tropez Pirates

Ireland's Bertram Allen ensured that reigning titleholders, Valkenswaard United, started this season's Global Champions League with a win when leaving just one pole on the floor in round two of the Mexican leg on Saturday afternoon.

Ahead by one fault following round one on Thursday when they had finished on a zero score, the duo of Allen and Italy's Alberto Zorzi had fallen behind their nearest rivals, St Tropez Pirates, at the halfway stage on Saturday as Zorzi's mount Cornetto K had picked up four faults while French rider Simon Delestre had gone clear for the Pirates with Hermes Ryan.

However, their second rider, Belgium’s Jérome Guery picked up eight faults with Grand Cru van de Rozenberg, giving last-to-go Allen some breathing space. The Wexford native did have a pole down with Noel Delahunty’s Hector van d’Abdijhoeve but left the remaining fences intact to give Valkenswaard a two-round total of eight faults with the Pirates finishing on nine.

Allen later jumped Delahunty's grey stallion in the Grand Prix of Mexico, the first leg of the 2017 Global Champions Tour. They recorded one of six first round clears but had a pole down against the clock to finish fifth as Switzerland's Martin Fuchs bagged the first place prize-money of €105,600 with the fastest of four double clears on Chaplin.