The UCI Cycle-ball World Cup Chronicle
- What happened -
The deciding match of the UCI Cycle-ball World Cup Final was a straightforward affair for defending champions Höchst (AUT), who won 7-3. The Final in Willich, Germany, was a re-run of last year’s showdown, and the third meeting between two Höchst teams to determine the title after 2012 and 2016.
Four-time UCI World Champions and silver medallists at the recent 2017 UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships, Patrick Schnetzer and Markus Bröll faced their clubmates Simon König and Florian Fischer in the season finale. This duel ended 5-5 in 2016, with Höchst I eventually emerging victorious 7-5 after extra time. This year’s match was another spirited, top-quality affair between four long-standing training partners. After Schnetzer and Bröll raced into an early lead, König and Fischer pegged them back briefly before the World Championships runners-up stepped up their game once more to secure a well-deserved win.
“After the bitter pill of finishing as runners-up at our home World Championships in Dornbirn a week ago, this victory is the icing on the cake for a fantastic season,” said Höchst press officer Heimo Lubetz. The result marked Schnetzer and Bröll’s third UCI World Cup triumph and the sixth for their club RC Mazda Hagspiel Höchst.
Both of Höchst’s teams won all of their preliminary round matches, while strong goalkeeping performances from Schnetzer (Höchst I) and König (Höchst II) meant their teams conceded the fewest goals.
While Höchst II made relatively smooth progress through the semi-finals with a 4-2 win over German Champions Obernfeld, the second last-four encounter between perennial adversaries Altdorf (SUI) and Höchst I was a veritable thriller. The lead changed repeatedly before two lightning-fast strikes from Höchst in the second half helped them establish a 5-3 lead, with the Germans only able to score one more consolation goal.
Cousins André and Manuell Kopp from Obernfeld secured third place after beating Altdorf (Dominik Planzer/Roman Schneider) 4-3 in the small final. The result denied father-to-be Planzer a final podium spot in his last-ever tournament. “I’m grateful for the many great experiences I’ve had,” the 2012 UCI World Champion and four-time UCI World Cup Final winner said before handing out parting gifts to the commissaires and athletes.
Meanwhile newly crowned UC World Champions Gerhard and Bernd Mlady (RMC Stein / GER) were forced to settle for fifth place after only managing one win over local representatives Marius Hermanns and Sven Holland-Moritz (RSC Schiefbahn) and a draw with Sulz/Dornbirn (AUT). The Mladys beat Pfungen (SUI) in the match for fifth place.
- What's next? -
2018 UCI Cycle-ball World Cup #1: Kamenz (Germany), 14 April 2018