Malaysia hosts 2015 UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships this weekend
The 2015 UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships return to Johor Bahru, Malaysia, after 19 years: they were last held in the city bordering Singapore in 1996. The three days of competition (November 20-22) will see rainbow jerseys awarded in cycle-ball and in five artistic cycling categories.
The first rainbow jersey of the competition will be awarded on Friday evening in artistic cycling. Defending Champions and world record holders (168.86 points) in the Pairs open category, André and Benedikt Bugner, are the clear favourites. The German brothers, aged 21 and 19, are currently German, European and World Champions, and will be looking to continue their domination at the Pasir Gudang Corporation Stadium tomorrow.
Germany is also likely to dominate proceedings in the Single Men category, with a battle awaited between 2014 UCI World Champion Michael Niedermeier and last year’s silver medallist Simon Puls. Hong Kong’s Chin To Wong, bronze medallist in 2013 and 2014 is also going into the competition in good shape and aiming to claim a medal.
In the absence of reigning UCI World Champion Corinna Biethan (née Hein) the Single Women’s competition is wide open. Five-time UCI World Champion (2009, 2011-2014) the 32-year-old German athlete is one of the most experienced on the circuit. Injured earlier in the season, she made an impressive comeback but failed to qualify for the UCI World Championships. Among the favourites to succeed her on the highest step of the podium is one of her compatriots Lisa Hattemer, silver medallist in 2013 and current world record holder (186.18 points).
Competition promises to be close in the ACT 4 category between the Swiss foursome from RV Sirnach and Germany’s RSV Steinhöring. The Swiss athletes Céline Burlet, Flavia Zuber, and sisters Melanie and Jennifer Schmid will be competing in the rainbow jersey, but will need to pull out all the spots to get the better of Katharina Gülich, Sonja Mauermeyer, Anja Sporer and Christina Posch, UCI World Champions from 2010 to 2013.
Cycle-ball: Europe expected to dominate
Austria, Germany and Switzerland have the strongest teams entered in the cycle-ball competition of the 2015 UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships.
Most of the favourite teams vying for the world title in Johor Bahru have been competing all year in the UCI Cycle-ball World Cup wearing their clubs’ colours. Defending UCI World Champions from the Austrian club RC Höchst (Patrick Schnetzer and Markus Bröll) will face stiff competition from last year’s silver medallists, the Swiss duo of Roman Schneider and Dominik Planzer from RS Altdorf. These two teams are also at the top of the UCI Cycle-ball World Cup ranking, which concludes with the Final in Mosnang, Switzerland, two weeks after the UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships.