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A World Championships in a class of its own

Three days of world class cycling, 18,000 spectators in the sold-out Porsche Arena and a thrilling atmosphere – the UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships were perfectly organised, excited the crowds and finished with five gold medals for the German team.

The first title was won by the quartet of Katharina Gülich, Ramona Strasser, Sonja Mauermeier and Ruth Weiand in the women’s team 4 competition. Local heroes Jasmin Soika und Katharina Wurster took the gold medal in the women’s pairs ahead of fellow Germans Katrin Schultheis and Sandra Sprinkmeier. The win in the open category went to Stephan Rauch and Ann-Kathrin Egert. Countrymen Florian und Felix Blümmel had to be content with silver.

There was another German one-two in the singles men on Sunday. A perfect ride gave David Schnabel the World Championship title in front of Florian Blab. The bronze medal was secured by a jubilant Hang Cheong Wong from Macao. Austrian Denise Boller triumphed in the singles women’s. She was a deserved gold medal winner ahead of Marion Kleinschwärzer and Corinna Hein (both Germany). The 2009 world champion rode a substandard freestyle was unable to retain her title after finishing third.

The impressive highlight was the World Championship win for the German cycle-ballers Matthias “Matze” König and Uwe Berner from nearby Gärtringen in what was for them a “home game”. In the final, the German pairing defeated the reigning world champions Peter Jiriček und Marcel Waldispühl (Switzerland) 3-1. Bronze went to Austria.

The three days of the World Championships in Stuttgart showed the whole perfection and elegance of artistic cycling and the dynamism and speed of cycle-ball. It was a magical World Championships in the Porsche Arena with a big fan party in the hall-duo in NeckarPark Stuttgart.

Impressive World Champs start

What a start at the UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships which will continue in Stuttgart until Sunday, 28 November. The fans turned the Porsche Arena into a cauldron and the German women’s team of 4 withstood the pressure.

The quartet comprising Katharina Gülich, Ramona Strasser, Sonja Mauermeier and Ruth Weiand not only won the gold medal but they set a new world record for team 4 artistic cycling. In scoring 191.74 points, they finished ahead of Austria and Switzerland.

Stuttgart’s Lord Mayor, Dr. Wolfgang Schuster was impressed and also delighted with the Germany jersey he received at a reception to mark the opening of the World Championships. Signed by the entire German World Championships team, it was handed to him by the Bund Deutsche Radfahrer’s (BDR – German Cycling Union) head of delegation, Harry Bodmer. Dr. Schuster reminded people of the great cycling tradition in Stuttgart and of the Road World Championships in 2007. “It’s all ups and downs in Stuttgart as we’ve got lots of big and small hills. Cyclists have to pedal hard here.”

In addition to the representatives of the 21 competing nations and the International Cycling Union (UCI), Stuttgart’s Lord Mayor was also able to welcome a delegation from Kagoshima. The Japanese will be the hosts for the coming UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships from 4 - 6 November 2011 and will no doubt take away many positive impressions from Stuttgart.

The Porsche Arena in Stuttgart’s NeckarPark complex will stage the UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships for the first time from 26 - 28 November 2010. About 150 of the world’s best cycle ball players and artistic cyclists from over 20 nations will produce moments of sporting brilliance and will compete over the three days for the coveted World Championship titles.

Amongst the favourites to claim the titles at the World Championships in Germany are, alongside Austria, Switzerland and the Czech Republic, first and foremost, the host nation’s athletes. The country’s artistic cyclists scooped five gold and four silver medals at last year’s World Indoor Cycling Championships in Portugal. In cycle ball, Germany won the silver medal after playing Switzerland in the final. They will now be looking to defend their titles and “gild” other medals in Stuttgart in 2010. Overseas countries, especially those from Asia, are also in with an outside chance at the 2010 World Championships. They have improved enormously recently and Hong Kong may well celebrate its first ever bronze medal this year.

At the Indoor Cycling World Championships 2010, the dynamism of cycle ball will provide a stark contrast to the aesthetics of artistic cycling – two disciplines that will both guarantee top class sport and three days of excitement in Stuttgart’s Porsche Arena.

Experience Stuttgart

There will be lots to do for visitors to Stuttgart, the state capital of Baden Württemberg, during the UCI Indoor Cycling World Championships. A stroll around the “Stuttgarter Weihnachtsmarkt” (Stuttgart Christmas Market) from 24 November - 23 December 2010 is a wonderful way of experiencing the festively decorated city centre. Its tradition, which stretches back more than 300 years, and its Christmas wares make it one of the oldest and most magnificent markets in the whole of Europe.

Over three and a half million people from home and abroad visit the Stuttgart Christmas Market every year. It is therefore advisable to make hotel bookings well in advance.

One click to Stuttgart’s Christmas Market (German version)

Stuttgart Christmas Market