The annual UCI Indoor World Championships are a chance for the very best artistic cycling and cycle-ball players to showcase their skills.
The championships - which took place in Germany's Stuttgart this year - include two distinct disciplines: Cyclo-Ball and Artistic Cycling, both of which take place on fixed gear bikes.
Cyclo-Ball is much like football, but on bikes, with teams of two using their wheels to score gaols. Artistic Cycling shares similarities with ice-skating and artistic gymnastics. The difference? The artists perform on a bicycle.
- This year's winners:
- Single Women: Lisa Hattemer, Germany
- Pairs Women: Nadja & Julia Thürmer, Germany
- Team of 4: Céline Burlet, Melanie Schmid, Jennifer Schmid, Flavia Zuber - Switzerland
The Artistic-Bicyclers dance their way around the floor, for five minutes and are judged on difficulty and execution. In a performance, they’ll complete around thirty different ‘figures’, each of which has a set value. Points are awarded throughout, and deducted if mistakes are made (and they do happen!)
There are five different categories: single women, single men, pair women, pair open and act of four open. The discipline held its first unofficial World Championships in 1888 – the competition became official in 1956 and women were allowed to join in from 1970.
To be honest, not that we're keen to completely devalue the power of words, some things have to be seen to be believed and the UCI have been sharing some pretty exceptional video highlights. Check out the videos below - you need to press play to see them. Prepare to be amazed...
The riders all perform on fixed gear bikes, carefully modified to allow them to carry out their exceptional stunts.
Here, Slovakia's Nicole Frybortova takes us through her own bike set up. Frybortova is the five-time Czech Republic champion, six-time Champion of Slovakia - and was also the Bronze moedallist at the 2014 World Champs. So she knows her stuff...
We can't keep our jaws shut when watching these women (and men) performing incredible stunts by bike. We do kind of suggest you don't try it at home... if you just can't help yourself, we recommend lots of crash mats...
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