The UCI Cycle-ball World Cup Chronicle
The UCI Cycle-ball World Cup Final drew to a close with Patrick Schnetzer standing alone on the top step of the podium. RC Höchst’s goalkeeper attended the award ceremony in Winterthur, Switzerland, without partner Markus Bröll – and for good reason. “Unfortunately Markus couldn’t stay as his wife Jasmin went into labour,” the duo later explained on their Facebook page.
As soon as the pair sealed victory over club-mates Simon König and Florian Fischer (Höchst II) in the final, Bröll packed his bag and drove for an hour to reach his home, where former artistic cycling pairs UCI World Champion Jasmin Bröll, née Soika, gave birth to a daughter.
Both Höchst teams reinforced their season-long dominance in style in front of a crowd of around 500 fans in Winterthur. The two pairs remained unbeaten to win their preliminary groups, with only Höchst II dropping two points in a 5-5 draw with local representatives Peter Jiricek and Marcel Waldispühl.
Höchst I refused to give their hosts an inch in the semi-final, dismantling Winterthur 11-3, while Höchst II prevailed over German champions and UCI Indoor Cycling World Championship participants RMC Stein (Bernd Mlady/Gerhard Mlady).
Despite Bröll’s hurry to attend the birth of his first child, he was forced to play seven minutes of extra time with the teams level at 5-5 in the final after normal time. “We gave it our all once more,” the pair said. Schnetzer came to his partner’s rescue with two goals to give the duo their second UCI World Cup triumph since 2014.
The event ended on a high note for hosts Winterthur as Jiricek and Waldispühl snatched third place in their final international competition, beating Stein 7-3 in the third-place play-off. The result means that the overall World Cup title will remain the only accolade missing from the trophy cabinet for a Swiss pair who, together with coach Petr Jiricek, will compete in their own farewell tournament on 14 January 2017.
Meanwhile RC Höchst II’s season ended in frustration as they missed out on top spot in the overall World Cup rankings in the final showdown for the third time after previous disappointments in 2012 and 2013. Swiss defending champions Altdorf (Roman Müller/Dominik Planzer) were forced to settle for sixth place, while Stein narrowly missed out on a podium spot in fourth place for the second successive campaign. Both teams still have a shot at UCI Indoor Cycling World Championship glory in early December and, together with Höchst I and Czech side Svitavka, will travel to Stuttgart expecting to collect medals.