Neither a lost stirrup nor a stellar lineup of talent could keep Maikel van der Vleuten (NED) out of the winner’s circle on Friday.

The Dutch rider topped a field of 58 starters over a five-star 1.50m track at the Longines Global Champions Tour Miami Beach, the show that is 100% guaranteed to give you an incurable case of FOMO.

Eleven combinations posted clears in the first round to qualify for the jump-off. Denis Lynch (IRL) and Shane Breen (IRL) opted to save their mounts for the Global Champions League (GCL) team showdown on Saturday, leaving nine riders to contest the short track.

And a thrilling one it was at that.

With just .68 of a second splitting the top four finishers, Friday’s jump off was everything in precision and speed that Thursday’s speed class was not. (Germany’s Marcus Ehning won Thursday’s 1.50m class, which doubled as the first round of the GCL team event, by nearly four seconds as most of the field was aiming for clear rounds to put them in good position for Saturday’s team final.)

On Friday, it…