The Cycling Disciplines You Didn't Know You Needed to Watch: Cycle Ball, Artistic Cycling, and More!

2013 uci cycle ball world cup
Yes, Cycle Ball is a Real ThingVictor Fraile - Getty Images

Indoor cycling is one of those niche cycling disciplines—yes, so niche that it makes even cyclocross look like NASCAR—that doesn’t get a lot of media attention. But frankly, it really should. The stunts that the riders are capable of, the exquisite bike handling, and the sheer athleticism it takes to perform on the bike the way these cyclists do is pretty damn impressive.

Sure, Tour de France riders are occasionally called upon to perform nearly impossible feats to avoid crashing, like bunnyhopping onto curbs or over other riders. But they have nothing on multi-time World Champion Lukas Kohl, who apparently can ride regardless of the direction his tires are pointing.

He took the gold medal again at last weekend’s Indoor Cycling World Championships in Ghent. So much for keeping the rubber side down:

That’s right, it’s the 2022 Indoor Cycling World Championships, featuring artistic cycling (a.k.a. “bike ballet”) in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles, plus cycle ball, which is... exactly what it sounds like.

If you thought synchronized swimming looked difficult in the Olympics, or you’ve ever dreamed of figure skating, perhaps you might want to consider artistic cycling. This year, German duo Caro Wurth and Sophie Wöhrle took the gold medal for their duet:

Two isn’t enough? The Germans also took home the gold for their four-person performance:

If you want to compete in this, good news and bad news for North Americans: There were no U.S. or Canadian cyclists at World Championships this year. Most of the riders were from Germany, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Great Britain, Austria, Hungary, Belgium, France, and the Czech Republic. One American competed in artistic cycling: Michelle Lynn Bestler, who placed 18th, competing with an elbow injury.

That's the bad news, but the good news is that if you start training now, maybe there's a starting spot for you in 2023!

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