UCI Cycle-ball World Cup: Who can stop UCI World Champions RC Höchst I?
Ten teams from five nations will gather in Mosnang, Switzerland, on Saturday 5th of December, for the Final of the UCI Cycle-ball World Cup.
After eight qualification rounds held between May and October, the eight best teams earned the right to compete in the final. They will be joined by Asian representatives RSV Osaka (Japan) and a wildcard entry from the host club RMV Mosnang.
The Austrian team Höchst I (Patrick Schnetzer and Markus Bröll) will be the ones to beat. Two weeks ago in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, they were crowned UCI World Champions for the third consecutive year. Also defending UCI World Cup winners, they will be looking for a clean sweep in Mosnang. However, they will come up against some tough challenges in their preliminary group, not least from two German teams: RVS Obernfeld (Andre and Manuel Kopp) and 2010 UCI World Champions RV Gärtringen (Uwe Berner and Matthias König). Celebrating its 90th anniversary, the host club RMV Mosnang will enter a team made up of Lukas Schönenberger and Timo Reichen, which finished 8th in 2013. SC Svitavka (Jiri Hrdlicka and Pavel Loskot), from the Czech Republic, will complete the line-up in Group 1.
Favourites in the second group are the silver medallists from last year, Switzerland’s RS Altdorf (Roman Schneider and Dominik Planzer), UCI Cycle-ball World Cup winners in 2007, 2009 and 2013. This year’s Final is a significant one for the Swiss duo, with Dominik Planzer competing in his 50th UCI World Cup tournament, and Roman Schneider returning to his home town of Mosnang, where he began his career in 2002. Another strong contender will be Austrian Champions Höchst II (Simon König and Florian Fischer). Simon König will be playing in his 61st tournament and if his team wins, he will equalize Peter Jiricek’s (RC Winterthur) record of 17 tournament victories. Germany’s RMC Stein with the ambitious cousins Bernd and Gerhard Mlady and the 2003 World Champions from the Czech Republic, TJ Favorit Brno (Pavel Smid– Petr Skotak) could be stumbling blocks for the top teams. The only non-European competition will come from Japan’s RSV Osaka (Yosuke Murakami and Koji Okajima).