Cape Town - The men’s C2 is shaping to be the most difficult event to predict at next week’s 2017 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships in Pau, after a World Cup series which produced three different winners.
Germany’s Robert Behling and Thomas Becker snatched this year’s overall C2 World Cup title in a thrilling day of racing at the final event in La Seu earlier this month, overtaking Czech’s Jonas Kaspar and Marek Sindler to win by just two points.
The Germans also won in Augsburg and have been a model of consistency since bombing out on the opening weekend of the World Cup season in Prague.
“We know we can be quick,” Behling said after the victory in Spain.
“It’s a good feeling, so we hope we can go to the Worlds and it will be as good as this World Cup season.”
By contrast, Kaspar and Sindler began the season with a bang, winning in Prague, and followed up with victory in Markkleeberg at World Cup three. But the Czechs missed the podium at the final two World Cups.
Olympic gold medallists Ladislav and Peter Skantar had a difficult season, the Slovakian cousins finishing on the podium just once – a gold medal in Ivrea.
“We have three weeks until the World Championships, but we feel good,” Peter Skantar said after the win in Italy.”
France’s Gauthier Klauss and Matthieu Peche, bronze medallists at last year’s Rio Olympics, have also had an ultra-consistent 2017, although they could not break through for a gold medal at five attempts.
The Frenchmen picked up two silver and two bronze medals during the World Cups, missing the podium just the once.
The men’s C2 heats will start on Wednesday, with the final to be run on Friday afternoon.