The UCI Cycle-ball World Cup Chronicle
– What happened? –
This season’s fourth UCI Cycle-ball World Cup tournament, in St Gallen, Switzerland, was a true test of form ahead of next month’s UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships: the final saw reigning UCI Champions Höchst I/AUT (Patrick Schnetzer / Markus Bröll) against last year’s runners-up Altdorf/SUI (Roman Schneider / Dominik Planzer). To reach the final, Höchst 1 had to overcome Round 1 winners and multiple-time runners up in the German Championships, Obernfeld I (André Kopp / Manuel Kopp).
Schnetzer and Bröll’s first UCI World Cup outing of the season in the Swiss town of Altdorf in late August was anything but perfect as they finished fourth for the first time in their career together. Despite this setback, the Austrian duo is now well on track, and could end the year on a high at their home UCI World Championships in Dornbirn (November 24-26). In St Gallen, they finished the preliminary round as clear group winners with four victories, and having conceded just six goals. They followed this up with a comfortable 5-3 semi-final win over Obernfeld to set up a dream final against Altdorf. An open contest ended with a 10-6 victory for the Austrians, lifting them to fifth in the overall standings and kindling their hopes of topping the table with another triumph in the final qualifying tournament in Liestal, Switzerland, on 4 November.
Who will clinch the leader’s jersey at the end of the season? Four teams are still in the race ahead of the sixth and final event in Liestal. Second place will be enough for Altdorf to come out on top, while Obernfeld needs to win but can still draw level with current leaders Höchst II (135 points) if they finish as runners-up. Only victory will do for Höchst I (Schnetzer / Bröll). Theoretically, all four sides could finish on the same number of points if Höchst I beats Obernfeld into second place in Switzerland and Altdorf finishes third.
– What’s next? –
2017 UCI Cycle-ball World Cup #6: Liestal (Switzerland), 4 November
– Focus on Dominik Planzer (Altdorf) –
Liestal will mark the final World Cup qualifying tournament for Altdorf’s Dominik Planzer after the 2012 UCI World Champion and four-time UCI World Cup final winner announced his decision to retire from the sport at the end of the year. “After almost 15 years of cycling at the highest level, Dominik is keen to step away from the sport and devote more time to his young family and other interests,” his club explained in a short Facebook message. Planzer’s long-time riding partner Roman Schneider will continue his career with former UCI World Champion Paul Looser in 2018.
2012 UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships – 1st
2007, 2009, 2013, 2015 UCI Cycle-ball World Cup Final – 1st
2011, 2014, 2015, 2016 UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships – 2nd
2013 UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships – 3rd
2008, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2016 Swiss Championships – 1st
2010 – 2013, 2017 Swiss Cup – 1st