The UCI Cycle-ball World Cup Chronicle

The UCI Cycle-ball World Cup Chronicle

UCI Cycle-ball World Cup
UCI Cycle-ball World Cup

– What happened? –

Shortly before midnight on Saturday, a message appeared on RV Stahlross Obernfeld’s Facebook page: “What a crazy final at the World Cup in St Gallen.” The match in question was a genuine thriller that ended in the event’s first German one-two since 2010.

Obernfeld pair André and Manuel Kopp faced RMC Stein’s Bernd and Gerhard Mlady in a captivating showdown in the seventh round of this year’s UCI Cycle-ball World Cup. With the scores tied at 8-8 after normal time and 10-10 after extra time, Obernfeld finally prevailed 3-2 on penalties to win the 70th edition of the Olma Cup, the oldest cycle-ball tournament in the world. By securing their third triumph in 25 UCI World Cup appearances, the Kopp cousins now top the overall standings once more.

The third-place play-off was an all-Swiss affair as former UCI World Champions RC Winterthur (Peter Jiricek/Marcel Waldispühl) defeated wildcards RMV Mosnang (Timo Reichen/Lukas Schönenberg) 5-1.

Although both home teams made it through the preliminary rounds unbeaten, Winterthur narrowly lost 7-6 to Obernfeld in the semi-final, while Mosnang were soundly beaten 7-2 by Stein in the other last-four encounter.

– What’s next? –

2016 UCI Cycle-ball World Cup #8: Wendlingen (Germany), 29 October

Last year’s results
Wendlingen did not hold a UCI Cycle-ball World Cup event in 2015. The last tournament took place here in 2012.

2012 results
1. RC Höchst I/AUT (Dietmar Schneider*/Patrick Schnetzer – *retired)
2. SV Ehrenberg/GER (Mike Pfaffenberger/Rico Rademann – retired)
3. RV Gärtringen/GER (Matthias König/Uwe Berner – retired)

– What you should know about… Wendlingen –

Wendlingen is a German town near Stuttgart, with a population of 16,000. Its indoor cycling pedigree stretches back to 1909. Local rider Andrea Barth won three women’s artistic cycling titles at the UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships between 1994 and 1996, and since then, the town has tasted success in this discipline at both domestic and European youth level.

Wendlingen’s most recent cycle-ball triumph dates back to 1973, when the Mayer brothers became German youth champions. Local heroes Kevin Seever and Frank Schmid are representing the town in this season’s UCI World Cup. Playing in the fourth tier as recently as 2012, the pair were promoted to the 2nd Bundesliga last year.


– Ranking –


– Photo of the week –

St Gallen

– Focus on… Stein (GER) –

With the retirement of several long-serving teams, cousins Bernd and Gerhard Mlady are among Germany’s brightest cycle-ball hopes. Winners of two UCI World Cup qualifying tournaments so far this season, the men from Bavaria have high hopes for the UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships in Stuttgart in early December. For their first appearance in the UCI World Cup in 2014, the Mladys qualified for the Final, finishing in 6th place. Last year they improved to take 4th place in the Final.

Main results

2016 National League – 1st
2014 National Cup – 1st
2015 National Championship – 2nd
2016 National Cup – 3rd
2014 National Championship – 3rd
2015 UCI World Cup Final – 4th
2014 European Cup – 4th
2010, 2011 U-23 European Cup – 1st
2007, 2008 U-19 European Championship – 1st

UCI Cycle-ball World Cup: Germans dominate after a day of surprises in St Gall

UCI Cycle-ball World Cup: Germans dominate after a day of surprises in St Gall

RS Altdorf v RMC Stein
RS Altdorf v RMC Stein

The seventh round of the 2015 UCI Cycle-ball World Cup in St Gall, Switzerland, on Saturday was dominated by the Germans.

The expected battle in the final between World Champions RC Höchst I (Patrick Schnetzer – Markus Bröll) and the silver medallists from the 2014 UCI World Championships RS Altdorf (Roman Schneider – Dominik Planzer), was not to be.

Instead, the Swiss Champions RS Altdorf found themselves up against a surprising and very strong German team RMC Stein. The 25-year-old cousins put on a brilliant performance to take their first victory in a UCI World Cup round, winning the final against the Swiss 4:3. The Germans prevented RS Altdorf, winners five times in St Gall in the past, from getting closer to the record of Swiss cycle-ball legend Paul Oberhänsli, who recorded seven victories in the world’s oldest cycle-ball tournament between 1975 and 1984. It is worth noting that in this 69th edition, the victory returned to Germany for the first time since 2004.

The German triumph was completed with the third place of Andre and Manuel Kopp (RV Obernfeld) who are now wearing the World Cup leader jersey for the first time in their career. The German duo took a clear 8:2 win against Swiss team RMV Pfungen (Benjamin and Severin Waibel), who were competing in the semi-finals for the first time in their career after an upset win (8:6) over RC Höchst I in the preliminary round.

RC Höchst I finally took fifth place after their 10:7 victory over Czech team SC Svitavka (Pavel Loskot – Jiri Hrdlicka). With the presence of newcomers UC Benicarlo (Florencio Monge – Marcel Chaves), at the bottom of the table in St Gall, Spain becomes the 21st participating country in the history of the UCI Cycle-ball World Cup.

With 160 ranking points, RV Obernfeld is the new World Cup leader. The 8th and last tournament before the Final will be held in Höchst, Austria, on  October 24.

UCI Cycle-ball World Cup: 2014 World Champions and silver medallists in St Gall

UCI Cycle-ball World Cup: 2014 World Champions and silver medallists in St Gall

2014 UCI Cycle-ball World Championships: RC Höscht 1 v RS Altdorf
2014 UCI Cycle-ball World Championships: RC Höscht 1 v RS Altdorf

The seventh tournament of the 2015 UCI Cycle-ball World Cup will take place on Saturday in St Gall, Switzerland. First held in 1945, the Swiss event celebrates its 69th edition this weekend, making it the oldest cycle-ball tournament in the world. It has been part of the World Cup series since 2004.

Ten teams from six nations will compete at St Gallen‘s Athletic Centre. The favourites are reigning World Champions Patrick Schnetzer and Markus Bröll from RC Höchst I (Austria), winners of the tournaments in Denkendorf and Svitavka, and last year’s World Championship finalists Dominik Planzer and Roman Schneider from RS Altdorf (Switzerland), winners of the tournament in Krofdorf. Their strongest competition will come from Germany with the teams RVS Obernfeld (Andre and Manuel Kopp) and RMC Stein (Gerhard and Bernd Mlady). The Belgians from SNA Gent (Peter Martens – Christophe Baudu) and the Austrians from RV Dornbirn (Jürgen Türtscher – Martin Lingg) will play their fourth and last tournament of 2015.

The Czechs from SC Svitavka (Jiri Hrdlicka – Pavel Loskot), winners in Tokyo, are under pressure as they must reach at least rank 5 if they want to overtake their compatriots from TJ Favorit Brno (Pavel Smid – Petr Skotak) in the overall ranking. Switzerland will have another two teams playing in its home tournament: the young brothers from RMV Pfungen (Severin and Benjamin Waibel) as well as RMV Mosnang (Lukas Schönenberger with his new partner Rafael Wohlgensinger).

Saturday’s competition will also see the participation of Spanish team UC Benicarlo (Florencio Monge – Marcel Chaves), which won the group B competition of the 2014 World Championships in Brno (CZE).

With the absence this weekend of UCI World Cup leaders RC Höchst II (Simon König – Florian Fischer) the leader’s jersey could change hands in St. Gallen: RVS Obernfeld are in with a chance of claiming the jersey from the Austrian team.

UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships: final rainbow jerseys of the year awarded

UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships: final rainbow jerseys of the year awarded

UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships: final rainbow jerseys of the year awarded

Austria beats Switzerland in the Cycle-ball final
Austria beats Switzerland in the Cycle-ball final

Cycling’s last six World Championship titles for 2014 were awarded to the specialists in artistic cycling and cycle-ball at the weekend in the Czech Republic.

Some 5000 spectators from various participating nations ensured that the atmosphere in the city of Brno’s sport hall was constantly fired up. As is the tradition, the athletes from all nations and their fans celebrated their performances together after each day of competition.

In total, nearly 140 athletes from 17 countries took part in the World Championships which took place from November 21 to 23.

Open Pairs: Bugner brothers confirm

The first World Champions of the competition were the German brothers André and Benedikt Bugner who successfully defended their title in the Open Pairs won in Basel, Switzerland last year.

With 162.65 points, they were comfortably in front of second placed Austrians Fabien Allgäuer and Adriana Mathis (142.73) and their fellow Germans Michael Rauch and Melissa Breitenbach (135.11).

The brothers had decided to deduce the risk in the final, taking out a difficulty factor that had caused them a slight wobble in the qualifications. André Bugner explained: “A fall at this point would have cost a lot of points. In the final, we showed our skills and were more sure than in the qualifications.”

Single Women: fifth title for Biethan

With four World titles already to her name, Germany’s Corinna Biethan (formerly Hein) was looking to claim her fifth gold medal in Brno, her first under her married name. The six-time German Champion did not disappoint, finishing with 178.02 points, just short of last year when she became the first ever woman to reach the magic score of 180 points at a World Championships.

Austria’s Adriana Mathis finished just over 7 points behind Biethan, with Nicole Frybortova (Slovakia) taking the bronze medal. 

Quadri Women: Swiss get it right

The Swiss foursome of Céline Burlet, Flavia Zuber, Melanie and Jennifer Schmid put on a masterful demonstration to take the world title in the ACT 4 category. Despite a mistake at the beginning of their freestyle programme, they kept their nerve and went on to provide a demanding and near flawless show. The four women beat the German team by nearly five points.

It was a nail-biting battle for third place with Austria (156.38) just edging out fourth placed Slovakia (155.00) for the bronze medal.

Pairs Women: German double

Last year Katrin Schultheis and Sandra Sprinkmeier lost their rainbow jersey to fellow Germans Jasmin Soika and Katharina Wurster. One year later they have claimed back the title, relegating the 2013 World Champions to second place.

World Champions in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012, the winners in Brno were visibly moved by their victory and celebrated in a flood of tears. The multiple World Champions finished the competition with 160.92 points compared to 156.57 points for the silver medalists.

Switzerland’s Anja and Bettina Weber secured bronze with 114.95 points. 

Single Men: Niedermeier goes from silver to gold

Before the World Championships, Germany’s Michael Niedermeier declared: “my goal is the title.”

His confidence and ambitions paid off. Silver medalist in 2013 behind David Schnabel, 23-year-old Niedermeier is 2014 World Champion in the Single Men artistic cycling category. In the absence of multiple World Champion Schnabel, Niedermeier finished with a comfortable win in the final, scoring 202.55 points compared to 187.51 for silver medalist and fellow German Simon Puls.

Hong Kong’s Chin To Wong took the bronze medal for the second consecutive year.

Cycle-ball: Austria dominates again

Since 2010, Austria has had a taste of all three different metals at the UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships. Bronze in 2010 and silver in 2012, they were World Champions in 2011, 2013 and… 2014.

In Brno, the current composition of the Austrian team Patrick Schnetzer and Markus Bröll looked comfortable throughout the tournament. They put on a convincing performance in the final, beating the Swiss duo of Roman Schneider and Dominik Planzer 4:1. World Champios in 2012, the Swiss duo won bronze last year.

The local Czech fans had plenty to celebrate in the play-off for bronze when the home team Pavel Smid and Petr Skotak beat Germans Uwe Berner and Matthias König to claim the third spot on the podium. The Czech team’s performance was particularly remarkable, coming 10 years after their 2004 World Championship title in Tata, Hungary.

UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships: Czech Republic hosts world’s best

UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships: Czech Republic hosts world’s best

UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships: Czech Republic hosts world’s best

Jasmin Soika and Katharina Wurster will defend their world title
Jasmin Soika and Katharina Wurster will defend their world title

Some 140 athletes from 17 nations will gather in the Czech city of Brno this weekend for the 2014 UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships.

Competition will get under way on Friday morning with the opening matches of the cycle-ball tournament.  However, it will not be until evening that the current World Champions will play their first match: the Austrian duo of Patrick Schnetzer and Markus Bröll will confront Belgium’s Christoph Baudu and Peter Martens during the third session of Friday’s competition. The Czech public will be gunning for their team of Pavel Šmid and Petr Skoták, World Champions in 2004, who will play Switzerland in the last match of the opening day.

In the absence of eight-times World Champion David Schnabel (Germany), last year’s silver medallist Michael Niedermeier is one of the favourites in the men’s single artistic cycling competition. The German athlete’s results this season show he is in good shape but the competition remains wide open, with all the athletes in the last qualification group on Sunday afternoon capable of putting him under pressure. They include last year’s bronze medallist Chin To Wong (Hong Kong) and 2012 bronze medallist Yannick Martens (Switzerland).

In the Open Pairs competition, the German duo of André and Benedikt Bugner will defend their title won in Basel, Switzerland, last year. Other reigning World Champions in Brno are Germans Katharina Wurster and Jasmin Soika (Women Pairs) and Corinna Biethan (Single Women).

The UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships are the last UCI World Championships of the year with six world titles at stakes: cycle ball and five artistic cycling categories (Single Women, Single Men, Pairs Women, Pairs Open and ACT 4 – team of four women).

UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships: Canadian circus artists train in Germany

UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships: Canadian circus artists train in Germany

UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships: Canadian circus artists train in Germany

Maxime Poulin on a training camp in Germany
Maxime Poulin on a training camp in Germany

Among the participants at the 2014 UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships in the Czech Republic next weekend will be four Canadians: two professional circus artists and two circus school students.

At ease centre stage and talented all-round performers, they are currently training in Germany with Kathrin Igel (Promotion Club Indoor Cycling) to perfect their technique and to familiarise themselves with the rules and regulations of international artistic cycling competition. The German coach organises daily training sessions of four to six hours and also offers accommodation for these young athletes who are paying their own way to the World Championships.

“I think it’s very important to support and help other nations,” says Kathrin Igel. “I can see how difficult it is for them.”

Kathrin Igel’s collaboration with Canada’s athletes dates back to 2010 when two Canadian circus artists entered the UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships for the first time, in Stuttgart. Impressed by the level of competition, they asked for some help from one of the sport’s leading nations, Germany.

Ever since, Kathrin Igel has regularly welcomed Canadian performers to her home in Kirchdorf, and has also travelled to Canada to help the country’s athletes. Last weekend she took the four Canadians to Oberhaching near Munich to join a training camp she was running for Bavarian artistic cyclists.

Juggling professional shows and competition

It is not easy for a professional performer to fit in preparation for the World Championships: Francis Gadbois had to interrupt his three weeks in Germany to return for a few days to Dubai where he is appearing in a show. Maxime Poulin, however, has been working under the watchful eye of Kathrin Igel since October 31st.

So what prompts an artist who spends the year travelling the world performing, who has won several awards and whose CV includes performances with the Cirque du Soleil, to try to slot the UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships into his busy schedule?

“I gain so much experience each time,” says Maxime Poulin, who will be competing for the third consecutive year. “When I train in Germany I learn new movements and the emphasis is on perfection. Kathrin has taught me so much and pushed me to try things I was too scared to do. I love training here.”

Although fully aware he can’t be in the medals faced with the world’s best indoor cycling specialists, Maxime Poulin aims to, “keep getting better, learn more tricks and get more stable on my bike.”

As well as improving his own skills, he passes on his knowledge when teaching young artists back in Canada where he would love to see the sport of indoor cycling develop further.

Perhaps a small victory for the development of Canadian artistic cycling is the participation for the first time this year of two Canadian women in the World Championships: Clémence Bossé-Audet and Daphnée Delisle are both circus school students and will compete in the single women’s artistic cycling competition.

On Wednesday, Kathrin Igel will drive the four Canadians to Brno, Czech Republic, stopping off in Erlenbach to pick up three Hong Kong artistic cyclists who have been training with another German club, Förderverein Hallenradsport, hosted by the club’s chairman Rolf Halter.

Undoubtedly one of the world’s dominant artistic cycling nations, Germany is obviously not shy of sharing its experience and knowledge.

“I am extremely impressed that the Germans are so open and willing to help,” concludes Maxime Poulin.