– What happened? –
Another chapter in UCI cycling history was written in the German village of Erlenbach bei Heilbronn, with the crowning of the first-ever UCI Artistic Cycling World Cup winners.
German cyclists dominated proceedings but there were a few surprises along the way.
In the men’s competition, two-time UCI World Champion Lukas Kohl (Kirchehrenbach/GER) took his fourth win in four rounds, to score a perfect 500 points. Martin Schön from Bokod/Hungary finished 6th in Erlenbach but takes second place overall (295 points) in the UCI World Cup, a slim five points ahead of Marcel Jüngling (Dornheim/GER), who made three World Cup appearances.
In the women’s event, Germany’s Mareen Haase (Hoffnungsthal) snatched victory in the dying seconds. "My goal was to win a jersey this year. It turns out that it’s the World Cup jersey and I’m absolutely delighted about it, particularly after just missing out on qualifying for the World Championships."
Haase performed a faultless free programme in Erlenbach, and with double ranking points on offer, she squeezed past UCI World Champion Milena Slupina (Bernlohe/GER). Slupina looked set for victory until the last exercise when she lost her balance and fell. "We’re good friends and I’m really sorry for her," said a sympathetic Haase, wishing Slupina all the best for her title defence at the World Championships.
There were fourth consecutive wins for the favourites in the two pairs categories: UCI World Champions Serafin Schefold and Max Hanselmann (RV Öhringen/GER), in the open category, and the women’s pairing of Sophie Nattmann and Caroline Wurth (Guttach/GER).
The only time that the German national anthem did not get an airing was in the open ACT4 category, where the favourites from Switzerland emerged victorious. Despite a fall during their free programme, UCI World Champions Melanie and Jennifer Schmid, Céline Burlet and Flavia Zuber (Sirnach) took victory on the day and overall.
– What's next? –
2018 UCI World Championship, Liege, Belgium > 23 – 25 November
– Focus on Martin Fürsattel (GER) –
Martin Fürsattel (RSV Fürth-Vach) brought the curtain down on his career in the UCI World Cup Final in Erlenbach. His last free programme did not go as hoped and he had to make do with a disappointing seventh spot in the UCI World Cup ranking. In recent years he has won three bronze medals in the German Championships. In his final appearance, Fürsattel pulled off the kind of lightning-fast backwards fixed-gear lap that had become his trademark, as the crowd gave him a standing ovation.