The UCI Cycle-ball World Cup Chronicle
Action kicks off in the 2017 UCI Cycle-ball World Cup this weekend with the opening round in Beringen, Belgium.
The Belgian stopover on Saturday is the first of five rounds which will continue in Altdorf (SUI) in August, St Polten (AUT) in September, St Gallen (SUI) in October and Liestal (SUI) in November. The best teams will qualify for December’s Final, hosted this year by the German town of Willich.
— UCI Indoor (@UCI_Indoor) May 3, 2017
Twenty-one teams have registered for this year’s UCI Cycle-ball World Cup, of which 16 will complete the maximum programme of three qualification tournaments. Switzerland, Austria and Germany make up the largest delegations with three pairs and a wildcard entry each. The Czech Republic and France are both represented by two teams, while Belgium’s hopes rest with Beringen I. The Hungarian side Tata will take part in just one tournament.
As a reminder, the top three teams of last year’s UCI Cycle-ball World Cup were Austrian teams RC Höchst 1 (Patrick Schnetzer and Markus Bröll) and RC Höchst II (Simon König and Florian Fischer) followed by Switzerland’s RC Winterthur (Peter Jiricek and Marcel Waldispühl), who retired from competition together at the beginning of this year.
– Focus on ... HZG Beringen I/BEL (Brecht Damen / Niels Dirikx) –
Brecht Damen and Niels Dirikx are two of the UCI Cycle-ball World Cup’s most experienced riders. Since making their debut in Höchst, Austria, in December 2009, they have competed in 23 tournaments, finishing in fifth place on two occasions. The multiple Belgian Champions also have plenty of experience at the UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships, and have maintained their Elite status despite being threatened with relegation four times since 2011. As Damen and Dirikx have never competed at a UCI World Cup event in Belgium, the 2017 season opener in their hometown will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of their sporting career.