Saut Hermès au Grand Palais-And the couple of 2012 is…

Saturday 17th March 2012  ... Malin Baryard and Ludger Beerbaum! The German-Swedish duo dominated the Saut Hermès, a class in two stages, with mixed couples designated by drawing lots. They were  the only pair to ride four clear rounds.

The story of the 2012 Saut Hermès started last night with the draw in the famous boutique at 24 Faubourg Saint-Honoré; a moving moment where the couples were formed for this event: " When I found out destiny had drawn me with Malin, I was delighted and I didn't hide the fact from my team. I was really lucky, because I have known Malin for a while. I know what a quality rider she is and we get on well. It was a truly lucky draw."

Malin, while she was just as pleased, had a slightly different feeling during the draw: "When I knew I would be with Ludger, I was obviously happy, but at the same time, I felt under pressure because he's a perfectionist who always tries to give his best. So, yes, I admit, I was a bit nervous because....Ludger is Ludger."

The Saut Hermès is a class designed for the public, a more fun format for the spectator: "But a very serious event for us," stresses the former German champion. "Even if it has a more fun side, particularly when the teams are drawn by lots. With two riders, there is no big strategy to be put in place. I really enjoyed it." 

As the blonde Swede confirmed, "Of course it is a serious event. Firstly, because there is a big purse to win and that brings the pressure I was talking about. I really felt it before the class, because it was Ludger, but also because in a class like this you're not only riding for yourself but for a team. And if you observed the riders this afternoon, you'll have seen a lot of them were stressed."

The public also played its part to the full during the event, which filled the 4,500 seats of the Grand Palais.  Completed results online :