Höchst is officially the undisputed number one club in cycle-ball. For the third successive year, riders from the small community near Bregenz, Austria, secured a one-two in the Final of the UCI Cycle-ball World Cup.
Despite struggling with illness, four-time and reigning UCI World Champions Patrick Schnetzer and Markus Bröll reinforced their dominant status in this discipline. Outfield player Bröll spent the week before the 2018 World Cup season finale in bed with an infection before arriving in Klein-Gerau, Germany, in a weakened state last Saturday. The pair shrugged off this setback to remain unbeaten throughout the group stages, dropping just one point to European runners-up Pfungen/SUI (Severin and Benjamin Waibel) in a 2-2 draw. This was followed by a resounding 8-0 victory in the semi-finals against third-place World Cup pair Altdorf/SUI (Roman Schneider and Paul Looser).
Their clubmates Simon König and Florian Fischer enjoyed a similarly smooth path to the final: they also reached the knockout stages without a defeat, only dropping points to German Championship runners-up Waldrems (Marcel Schüle and substitute Tim Lindner). Höchst II then beat UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships runners-up RMC Stein/GER (Gerhard and Bernd Mlady), 5-3.
It was König’s fifteenth appearance at the World Cup finals and Fischer’s tenth. Having announced their retirement at the end of 2018, it was also their last.
Just as in the 2016 and 2017, the finals came down to a clash between Höchst I and Höchst II. After Schnetzer and Bröll raced into an early lead, the match became a tactical yet lively affair with an exceptional display of cycle-ball technique. The UCI World Champions ultimately kept the upper hand to win 5-3.
Victory in the UCI Cycle-ball World Cup final capped a wonderful season for Schnetzer and Bröll. By winning the European Championships, World Championships and World Cup, the Austrian pair claimed every international jersey available in 2018.
Around 500 spectators watched another thriller in the third-place play-off as Altdorf edged Stein 7-6.
Chief organiser René Gerbig from host club RMSV Klein-Gerau was more than satisfied with how the event unfolded. As well as being delighted with the sell-out crowd, the 43-year-old also delivered an impressive performance in the competition itself alongside Felix Moneck. The local pair beat U-23 European Champions Dornbirn/Sulz (AUT) 4-3 and drew 3-3 with Pfungen. After finishing third in the group stage, Gerbig and Moneck progressed to the fifth-place play-off they were hoping to reach, where they were beaten 11-3 by German Bundesliga champions Obernfeld (André and Raphael Kopp).