– What happened? –
Fans watching the latest round of the UCI Cycle-ball World Cup in the Austrian town of Höchst were rewarded with their dream final as the host club’s top two teams – multiple UCI World Champions and reigning European Champions Patrick Schnetzer and Markus Bröll (Höchst I) and the vastly experienced pair of Simon König and Florian Fischer (Höchst II) – battled it out in a thrilling encounter.
With the match tied at 3-3 after normal time, seven minutes of extra time took the score to 5-5. Penalties were eventually required to break the deadlock, with König (30) and Fischer (33) prevailing 3-2 to set the stage for their farewell.
The result secured their place at the season-ending UCI Cycle-ball World Cup Final in January 2019, which will be their last tournament. The final result in Höchst meant that König and Fischer scuppered their clubmates’ chances of completing the ‘Grand Slam’ of four World Cup wins in a single season. Despite this setback, Schnetzer and Bröll topped the overall World Cup rankings with 195 points from a possible 200, just ahead of Höchst II on 190 points and German pairs Obernfeld and Stein on 170 points each.
The semi-final between UCI World Champions RMC Stein (Bernd Mlady / Gerhard Mlady) and 2017 runners-up Höchst I offered a tantalising preview of the UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships in Liège, Belgium in three weeks’ time (23-25 November). After the final whistle blew with the score tied at 6-6, Schnetzer and Bröll eventually won 3-2 on penalties.
Meanwhile Höchst II recorded a resounding 5-1 victory over Pfungen (SUI), with Swiss brothers Severin and Benjamin Waibel going on to win the third-place play-off 5-3. Three teams from Austria (Höchst I, Höchst II, Dornbirn/Sulz) three from Germany (Obernfeld, Stein, Waldrems) and two from Switzerland (Pfungen, Altdorf) have qualified for the World Cup Final.
Completing the ten-team line-up is the best side in Asia this season, Hong Kong’s MH 2 (Wing Thai Ho / Chun Hin Kwan), and the wildcard pair of René Gerbig and Felix Scholz from host club RMSV Klein-Gerau.
– What’s next? –
2018 UCI Cycle-ball World Cup Final, Klein-Gerau, Germany > 19 January 2019
– Focus on RMSV Klein-Gerau (René Gerbig/Felix Scholz)-Germany –
The RMSV Klein-Gerau pair once again missed out on their much-coveted promotion to Germany’s top flight in 2018. René Gerbig and Felix Scholz were eliminated in the play-off semi-finals on their third successive attempt. After beginning in the fourth-tier Hessen Verbandsliga in 2014, they immediately marched their way to Bundesliga 2. Since 2016 they have been among the top teams in the Mitte division, with two third-place finishes and a runners-up spot. Gerbig and Scholz’s wildcard for the UCI Cycle-ball World Cup Final will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of their career. The town of Klein-Gerau is used to staging events of this magnitude, having hosted the international Fraport Cup in World Cup format for several years.