Michał Dubicki of Poland defended his STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® European Trophy title in emphatic fashion to cement his status as a European logger sports star at Motorworld Munich, Germany.
Dubicki set the four fastest times during the competition, scoring sub-1:20.00 in each of his heats. The two-time champion defeated France's Pierre Puybaret in the final, with Belgium's Koen Martens seeing off the challenge of Martin Kalina of the Czech Republic in the small final to claim third place on the podium.
The European Trophy marked the international comeback of the much-loved Trophy format after a two-year absence and saw Europe's top 14 logger sports athletes battle in a heart-racing head-to-head knockout format, taking on four iconic TIMBERSPORTS® disciplines – Stock Saw, Underhand Chop, Single Buck and Standing Block Chop - one after the other in each round.
Dubicki set a strong marker from the very opening Time Trial round, finishing top of the standings in 1:15.74, ahead of Sweden's 2019 European Trophy bronze medallist Calle Svadling with 1:24.42. Courtesy of their top-two finish, Dubicki and Svadling were granted a bye in the Round of 16 and progressed straight into the Quarter Finals. Elsewhere, Emil Hansson of Sweden, stepping up from the Rookie series, posted a personal best time of 1:26.20 to qualify as the fastest Round of 16 entrant, whilst the likes of Puybaret, Martens, Kalina and Czech veteran Martin Komárek made sluggish openers.
Komárek's fortunes would not improve in the Round of 16, as he lost out in the first head-to-head round to Austria's Armin Kugler, signalling the end of his challenge for the European Trophy title. Meanwhile, Puybaret edged out Germany's Danny Martin by less than 1.5 seconds in a thrilling contest and Martens ended Hansson's hopes on the Swede's Pro debut.
The Quarter Finals saw Dubicki return fresh to post his fastest score of the entire evening, his 1:07.59 more than enough to see off the challenge of Italy's Andrea Rossi (1:52.31). The Netherland's Redmer Knol scored a personal best of 1:21.41 but it was not enough to stop Kalina in his tracks, who squeezed into the Semi Finals in 1:20.89. Puybaret and Martens were more comfortable in defeating Svadling and Kugler respectively.
Dubicki eased into the Final with another sub 1:20.00 time of 1:17.57 to defeat Kalina (1:38.93), with Puybaret joining him with a Semi Final time of 1:28.48, to leave Martens (1:35.18) to face Kalina in the Small Final.
Martens took third place with a time of 1:31.19 in the Small Final, with both athletes clearly tiring having put it all on the line during a high-octane evening of woodchopping and sawing action.
Dubicki, who had been unshakeable throughout the competition, dominated the Final with an impressive time of 1:14.50, helped by an imperious performance on the Underhand Chop, to continue his reign as European Trophy champion. Puybaret came home in 1:39.87 to leave the Frenchman in second place.
Michał Dubicki, the 2021 European Trophy champion, commented: "I feel great. I came here to defend my title and that's exactly what I did. I couldn't be happier."
Pierre Puybaret, the 2021 European Trophy runner-up, said: "The day turned out very well for me. We still miss the spectators, but the athletes provided a great atmosphere. I'm very happy to have been in the final and overall it was a super day."
Koen Martens, who finished third on the podium, added: "I'm very happy that I came in third place overall. The competition in the European Trophy is so strong, only the best guys in Europe contest it, so to win the bronze medal against all these top athletes is a big honour for me."
1) Michał Dubicki, Poland (1:14.50, Heat 14 – Final)
2) Pierre Puybaret, France (1:39.87, Heat 14 - Final)
3) Koen Martens, Belgium (1:31.19, Heat 13 – Small Final)
4) Martin Kalina, Czech Republic (3:00.00, Heat 13 – Small Final)
5) Redmer Knol, Netherlands (1:21.41, Quarter Final)
6) Calle Svadling, Sweden (1:35.69, Quarter Final)
7) Andrea Rossi, Italy (1:52.31, Quarter Final)
8) Armin Kugler, Austria (3:00.00, Quarter Final)
9) Danny Martin, Germany (1:24.69, Round of 16)
10) Martin Komárek, Czech Republic (1:28.40, Round of 16)
11) Guillaume Maure, France (1:39.16, Round of 16)
12) Michael Del Pin, Italy (1:54.26, Round of 16)
13) Günther Dallinger, Austria (3:00.00, Round of 16)
14) Emil Hansson, Sweden (3:00.00, Round of 16)
Full results and final standings for the European Trophy can be found on our STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® database.