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.

Switzerland hosts 2013 UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships

Switzerland hosts 2013 UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships

000indoorThe St. Jakobshalle in Basel, Switzerland, will provide the stage for the 2013 UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships from November 22nd to 24th.  Some 150 athletes from 17 countries will compete for the rainbow jersey in cycle-ball and the five artistic cycling categories: men single, women single, women pairs, women 4 and open 4.

Reigning cycle-ball World Champions, the Swiss team of Roman Schneider and Dominik Planzer, will be looking to confirm their title in front of their home crowd. However they will be up against tough competition from the Germans and the Austrians who are always among the favourites of this spectacular and exciting discipline.

Last year, Germany made a clean sweep of the artistic cycling titles. Other medals went to Austria, Hong Kong and Switzerland, all of whom will be present and aiming to take over the No 1 spot in the world.

Swiss Television SRF2 (Schweizer Radio Fernsehen) will broadcast live some of the action on the last day of competition. Meanwhile, some 5000 spectators are expected to attend the competitions.

Switzerland has hosted the UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships nine times since 1956, but this is only the second time in 50 years that the Worlds come to Basel. Built in 1976, the St Jakobshalle is particularly known for hosting the Swiss Indoors tennis tournament, part of the ATP World Tour.

Photo: Last year’s cycle-ball finalists, Switzerland and Austria, will once again be among the favourites.

The St. Jakobshalle in Basel, Switzerland, will provide the stage for the 2013 UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships from November 22nd to 24th.  Some 150 athletes from 17 countries will compete for the rainbow jersey in cycle-ball and the five artistic cycling categories: men single, women single, women pairs, women 4 and open 4.

Reigning cycle-ball World Champions, the Swiss team of Roman Schneider and Dominik Planzer, will be looking to confirm their title in front of their home crowd. However they will be up against tough competition from the Germans and the Austrians who are always among the favourites of this spectacular and exciting discipline.

Last year, Germany made a clean sweep of the artistic cycling titles. Other medals went to Austria, Hong Kong and Switzerland, all of whom will be present and aiming to take over the No 1 spot in the world.

Swiss Television SRF2 (Schweizer Radio Fernsehen) will broadcast live some of the action on the last day of competition. Meanwhile, some 5000 spectators are expected to attend the competitions.

Switzerland has hosted the UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships nine times since 1956, but this is only the second time in 50 years that the Worlds come to Basel. Built in 1976, the St Jakobshalle is particularly known for hosting the Swiss Indoors tennis tournament, part of the ATP World Tour.

Photo: Last year’s cycle-ball finalists, Switzerland and Austria, will once again be among the favourites.

Artistic cycling

Artistic cycling

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The first official artistic cycling World Championships were held in 1956. This sport is most popular in Germany, where there are no fewer than 10000 licence holders.

This sport is comparable to ice-skating and artistic gymnastics. The competitors (individuals or pairs) present a 5-minute programme set to music. The jury awards marks for the quality of the performance.