UCI Indoor Cycling World Championship Day 1: Switzerland win first Artistic gold but stumble in Cycle-ball

Dec 7, 2019, 17:37 PM

On the opening evening of the three-day UCI World Championships in Basel (SUI), the Swiss quartet layed down the perfect start with gold in the Artistic Cycling Act4 Open category, and things are taking shape in the early rounds of the Cycle-ball competition.

Artistic Cycling - Act4 Open

For the host country Switzerland there was a fantastic start on the first day of the Indoor Cycling World Championships (ICWC), taking the gold medal they had hoped for in Act4 Artistic Cycling. The quartet from Baar, Stefanie Moos, Vanessa Hotz, Saskia Grob and Elena Fischer, produced a perfect performance in front of about 1,800 spectators late on Friday evening. Their slight wobbles were only to be perceived by the experts, and with 214.23 points they ultimately took a safe victory at their World Championships debut.

The team from Germany had promised to be the sharpest competitors, but they could not deliver a perfect performance. Annika Furch, Nora Erbenich, Sabrina Born and Hannah Rohrwick from the city Worms, who were also participating in a ICWC for the first time, found themselves on the ground during two exercises. This meant that in the end there was not enough time left to count their final element and, with 192.23 points, the dream of gold had burst. Nevertheless, the disappointment about their own performance quickly disappeared at the award ceremony as the four young ladies said goodbye with the Vice title and silver medals.

For the second time, after 2018, bronze went to the mixed team of Lukas and Lea Schneider, Leonie Huber and Julia Wetzel from Austria. A self-imposed break after the 2018 ICWC until the summer had a positive effect, and with fresh motivation and a clean freestyle, they scored 184.85 points.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong was happy about its team’s successful ICWC debut. The four women, So Cheuk Lam, Wong Cheuk Sze, Ho Dong Qing and Lam Cheuk Yu, made the history books by becoming the first Asian nation to compete in Act4 in the World Championships.

Cycle-ball opening matches

In Cycle-ball’s A-Group openers, Switzerland stumbled against Belgium. In their first tournament game, the Swiss pair of Severin and Benjamin Waibel from RMV Pfungen had to settle for a draw. Fourth in the 2018 ICWC, Belgians Brecht Damen and Niels Dirikx benefited from their many years of experience, while Waibel/Waibel were making their premiere at the UCI Championship - and felt the pressure of a large home crowd. After a 1:1 draw at the break, the Swiss held the lead just before the end, only to concede a late equalizer to bring the score level at 3:3. 

Previous World Champions Austria (Patrick Schnetzer/Markus Bröll) had scored a laborious victory in the opening match of the A-Group against France. The defensive tactics of the French, who played the time game, did not make it easy for the defending champions from RC Höchst. But at the end, the 4:2 scoreline showed an expected victory for the five-time UCI Champions.

The German team of Gerhard and Bernd Mlady were a little more relieved with their success against the Czech Republic (Pavel Loskot/Jiri Hrdlicka). A 3:1 lead at the break for the 2017 World Champions became 5:1, giving them the points' lead overnight.

In Cycle-ball’s B-Group opening games, Liechtenstein and Japan are unbeaten. The two-time B-Division winners in the last two years, Liechtenstein, are once again emerging as the favourites. Four wins from four games and 42 goals to 5 puts the brothers Markus and Lukas Schönenberger, who are based at the Swiss Club Mosnang, at the top - followed by the Japanese pairing of Riku Akatsu and Ko Matsuda. 

The Asian duo also went on to win four times from the square on Friday. So on Saturday it is most likely to be a real final B-Group match between these two teams, with the winner going into the playoff for promotion to the A-Group.

Lots more action from Basel in both Artistic Cycling and Cycle-ball tomorrow. We’ll keep you updated.