The UCI Cycle-ball World Cup Chronicle
- What happened -
The 2018 UCI Cycle-ball World Cup got underway in Kamenz, near Dresden, Germany, last weekend. Spectators packed the stands to witness the event, successfully organised by SG Lückersdorf-Gelenau.
Cycle-ball fans witnessed a thrilling tournament with a winner few would have picked to reach the top step of the podium at the first attempt: newly-formed pair André and Raphael Kopp of RV Obernfeld (GER) beat multiple overall UCI World Cup runners-up Höchst II/AUT (Florian Fischer / Simon König) 4-3 in the final. The Austrians had emerged victorious by the same scoreline in the preliminary round.
Current German Bundesliga leaders Obernfeld dispatched UCI World Champions Stein/GER (Bernd Mlady / Gerhard Mlady) 4-3 on penalties in the semi-final after drawing 5-5 in normal time.
Meanwhile U23 European Champions Sulz/Dornbirn (Kevin Bachmann / Stefan Feurstein) made a strong impression in the preliminary round, beating Stein 6-5 and old hands Altdorf 4-3. Unfortunately the Austrian pair was then forced to withdraw from the tournament due to an injury suffered by Bachmann.
Local heroes Ricardo Slota and Marcus Richter were carried along by the euphoric support of their home crowd, despite being unable to record a win. “We are so happy, and the way the fans cheered us on was fantastic and a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Ricardo Slota later told the Sächsische Zeitung newspaper.
- What's next? -
2018 UCI Cycle-ball World Cup #2, Altdorf, Switzerland > 28 April
- Focus on Altdorf -
Things are not yet going completely to plan for newly formed duo Roman Schneider and Paul Looser (Altdorf/SUI). The two former UCI World Champions (Looser in 2002 with Peter Jiricek and Schneider in 2012 with Dominik Planzer) will no doubt have expected more than their seventh-place finish at the first round of the 2018 UCI World Cup in Kamenz. They will have little time to process this result as their home World Cup event is just around the corner, on 28 April. Nothing less than the semi-final – where they can expect to meet either four-time UCI World Champions Patrick Schnetzer and Markus Bröll (Höchst I/AUT) or first-round World Cup winners Obernfeld/GER – will be good enough. Altdorf will have another opportunity to warm up on 21 April in the seventh round of Switzerland’s NLA league, where they are currently second in the table.