2018 UCI Cycle-ball World Cup: strong line-up for first round
The countdown is on to the start of the 2018 UCI World Cup. This veritable Champions League of cycle-ball will kick off on Saturday April 14 in the German town of Kamenz, some 40 kilometres north-east of Dresden. Participants in this first round of the series have come from four different countries, with five teams alone from Germany joined by representatives from the Czech Republic, Switzerland and Austria.
Host club SG Lückersdorf-Gelenau has compiled an impressive guest list. The ten teams involved include reigning UCI World Champions Gerhard and Bernd Mlady from RMV Stein (GER), as well as Simon König and Florian Fischer, runners-up in last year’s UCI World Cup final, representing Austria’s RC Höchst. The current German, Czech and Swiss Champions will all be present, but playing in different clubs. What is clear however is that UCI World Championships bronze-medallists Altdorf (SUI) will be a strong outfit. After the retirement of Dominic Planzer, goalkeeper Roman Schneider has found an experienced new outfield partner in the shape of Paul Loser. Obernfeld meanwhile have a new line-up that has already made people sit up and take notice in the German Bundesliga.
Locals Marco Richter and Ricardo Slota, who play in the second division, will also be involved: "We will be able to see how we match up against the best in the world which is a unique opportunity for us. Ninth place for the lads would be a great achievement," says Heiner Slota, head of the organising committee and Ricardo’s father.
The 20 preliminary-round matches will begin at 10am, with teams in two groups of five. The matches for places and the finals will get under way at 6pm.
Plenty of teams will be making their World Cup bows as the season progresses. "Since France and Belgium have only signed up one team each, we will add some U-23 teams into the mix,” explains Hans-Peter Flachsmann (SUI), UCI technical delegate for the Cycle-ball World Cup. "We will also be having Liechtenstein and Armenia in the World Cup for the first time."