2017 STIHL Timbersports Champions Trophy preview
After establishing his dominance over the STIHL Timbersports Australia competition last year, Brad De Losa is eyeing a third world crown at the Champions Trophy in Germany this weekend.
As Australia's 2016 Championship winner, De Losa will compete against seven of the world's best in Hamburg on Saturday (4am Sunday AEST).
The New South Welshman has lifted the trophy twice before, in 2014 and 2015, but knows he has his work cut out for him against the likes of Jason Wynyard (New Zealand), Matt Cogar (USA) and Stirling Hart (Canada).
"I am feeling reasonably confident but I think this Champions Trophy will be much harder than the previous ones," De Losa said.
"The international guys are putting more into their training and preparation and there are some younger guys who are coming along.
"Jason (Wynyard) and Matt (Cogar) are always tough competition and I know Sterling Hart has done a lot of training specifically for this and is really fit."
The STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Champions Trophy is considered the ultimate test of stamina, concentration and technique.
Unlike other formats that run each discipline separately, the Champions Trophy requires athletes to complete four events back-to-back: the stock saw, underhand chop, single buck, and standing block chop.
Adding an extra element of pressure, it becomes a sudden death knockout race once athletes finish the qualifying round.
Last month, all eyes were on De Losa at the inaugural STIHL Timbersports Australia Champions Trophy in Tasmania where he was knocked out of the quarter-finals by eventual winner Mitch Argent (QLD).
De Losa insists his result was no cause for concern, with the competition falling during the heavy training phase of his preparations for Germany.
"It was tricky timing - if I had trained to peak in Tassie then I would have been underdone to get to Europe," De Losa said.
"While I would have liked to have gone a bit better, it was a good hit-out and gave me the chance to work on my transitions, things like where to set the axes and saw placement.
"We don't often get the chance to compete in the Champions Trophy format – the last time I did was when I won in 2015 – so having done it before I left for Germany feels like a bit of an advantage."
De Losa is preparing for the Champions Trophy at a training base in Holland, where he is also helping ready fellow Australian Blake Marsh for the STIHL Timbersports World Rookie Challenge.
It is on that major stage that he will take on the world's best up-and-coming STIHL Timbersports talent from across the globe. Marsh won the Australian Rookie Championship in 2016 on the back of outstanding performances in the Stock Saw, Standing Block and Underhand Chop and when De Losa was asked about Marsh's chances, it seems there are decent odds that two world titles could be headed Down Under.
"If he doesn't make any mistakes I think Blake has a good chance of winning this," De Losa said.
"He is a strong chopper and we have been really working on his stock sawing and single buck sawing.
"Focus is going to be really important for him too but I think he is going to be really hungry for success after winning a championship in New South Wales just before he flew to Europe."
Australian Start Times:
MAIN EVENT: STIHL Timbersports Champions Trophy: Sunday 21st May, 04:00-06:00 AEST
STIHL Timbersports Rookie World Championship: Saturday 20th May, 04:00-06:00 AEST
WATCH LIVE on STIHL Timbersports Facebook Page!
The competitors for the STIHL Timbersports Champions Trophy in Hamburg, Germany are:
Brad Delosa (AUS)
Jason Wynyard (NZL)
Martin Komarek (CZE)
Matt Cogar (USA)
Stirling Hart (CAN)
Christophe Geissler (SUI)
Roger Gehin (FRA)
Dirk Braun (GER)
The competitors for the STIHL Timbersports Rookie World Championship in Hamburg, Germany are:
Blake Marsh (AUS)
Simon Grüter (SUI)
Scott Fowkes (GBR)
Guillame Scheppler (FRA)
Ferry Svan (SWE)
Chris Eder (GER)
William Adams (USA)
George Williams (CAN)