STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® European Nations Cup 2021
Poland edge Germany in thrilling contest to win European Nations Cup
Poland's Michal Dubicki, Krystian Kaczmarek and the brilliant brothers, Szymon and Mikolaj Groenwald claimed the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® European Nations Cup crown in dramatic fashion ahead of Germany in second and France in third at Motorworld Munich, Germany.
16-year-old Polish sensation Szymon Groenwald sawed his way to victory in the rookie competition before compatriot and European logger sports legend Michal Dubicki won the pro competition to steer Poland to the overall title ahead of host nation Germany and France.
The European Nations Cup saw two electric contests on the same day with 16 athletes from nine nations battling it out for glory in an individual rookie competition followed by the same number of athletes in the pro competition. This year the competition introduced an exciting new element to the traditional Nations format with the overall winners determined by a combined nations ranking from both competitions at the end of the day.
Szymon Groenwald dominated the rookie competition winning three of the four disciplines on his way to a stunning total of 60 points. However, he did not make the strongest start in the Stock Saw only finishing in fifth place in a time of 12.91 seconds. He then bounced straight back with an impressive win in the Standing Block Chop, recording a time of 17.05 seconds.
In the third event, the Single Buck, the standard of talent on show was mesmerising with 14 of the 16 rookie athletes setting personal best career scores in the discipline, but Groenwald produced the stand out performance of the whole event smashing the rookie world record in an astonishing 12.28 seconds. In the final event he sealed an emphatic victory with another first place in the underhand chop, while an impressive showing from Switzerland's Oliver Reinhard ensured he pipped Italian Michel Perrin to second place in the overall result.
The evening saw the finest logger sports athletes in Europe take to the stage for the pro competition and the Pole Dubicki started in sparkling form setting a new European record in the opening event the Underhand Chop with a time of 14.19 seconds. His longtime rival Pierre Puybaret then laid down his marker with a thrilling performance in Stock Saw finishing with a time of 11.92 seconds before Austrian Armin Kugler showed his prowess in the Standing Block Chop, posting a personal best time of 19.92 seconds to win the discipline.
The field was cut down to the top eight athletes for the next two events and Puybaret and Kugler continued to dominate winning the Single Buck and Springboard respectively while German Danny Martin's consistent performances put him in contention heading into the Hot Saw. Puybaret went in the final heat with a chance to overtake Dubicki and Martin at the top of the overall standings, but a costly mistake on his final cookie dropped him out of contention to fourth overall. This left the top two level on points, but Dubicki claimed the honours as he had accumulated a faster time throughout all the events.
The double win handed Poland the overall European Nations Cup title in a breathtaking new team format with Germany finishing second and France claiming a bronze medal.
Michał Dubicki, the 2021 European Nations pro and overall champion, commented: "This competition went extremely well for us because of the excellent effort from all of the team; which allowed us to take home the title."
Danny Martin, who was part of the German team that finished second, added: "The rookies laid the base for the silver medal and thankfully we were able to follow that up. We really enjoyed the format that allows pros and rookies to compete together on the same team and we are delighted with second place."
Full results and final standings for the European Trophy can be found on the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® database.