The UCI Cycle-ball World Cup Chronicle
– What happened? –
It was a case of third time lucky for Simon König and Florian Fischer RC Höchst (AUT) as they secured their first UCI Cycle-ball World Cup win of the season in Beringen, Belgium.
After suffering a narrow 4-3 defeat at the hands of André and Raphael Kopp (RV Obernfeld) at the World Cup season opener in Kamenz, Germany, the Austrian pair exacted revenge over the newly-formed German duo with a resounding 5-1 victory.
Having already finished second in the first two events of the year, König and Fischer’s win extended their lead in the overall standings and sealed early qualification for the World Cup finals on 19 January 2019.
The RC Höchst riders got off to a flying start in the preliminary round with a 12-1 win over Armenia before recording further resounding victories in their remaining first-round games, their record of 33 goals scored and just five conceded underlining their dominance. Their only close-fought encounter was their 3-2 semi-final win over Severin and Benjamin Waibel of RMV Pfungen (SUI).
Obernfeld navigated the competition with similar ease, winning all four of their preliminary round matches and beating surprise semi-finalists VC Dorlisheim (FRA) 5-1 en route to the final.
The event was also a historic one as a team from Armenia took part in a UCI World Cup event for the first time. Arnak Mkhitaryan and Artak Vosdkanyan did not have to travel far, however, as they live in Belgium and represent SNA Gent with different partners in the first and second tiers of the Belgian league. They finished their first UCI World Cup weekend in tenth place.
– What's next? –
2018 UCI Cycle-ball World Cup #4, Hong Kong, China, 11 August
– Focus on Simon König –
The UCI World Cup win in Beringen was a very special one for Simon König, as it marked his 60th appearance in the competition. The goalkeeper has been an ever-present part of the UCI Cycle-ball World Cup since 2003, and his victory in Belgium brings the 33-year-old’s tally of tournament triumphs to 19. König has finished on the podium 48 times and qualified for the World Cup finals on 15 different occasions, more than any other rider in the history of the event. During his time riding with Dietmar Schneider between 2003 and 2009, König won the UCI World Cup title in 2005 and collected five bronze medals at the UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships. He has continued his success with Florian Fischer, recording four second-place finishes and one third-place finish at the World Cup finals since the pair joined forces in 2010.