Multivan Merida Biking Team

Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå on the podium again

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Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå on the podium again

Just like at the Worldcup opener in Nove Mesto, Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå scored the best result from the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM’s perspective at the second race of the season in Albstadt. The Norwegian sprinted to a 2nd place. In the men’s race Rudi van Houts narrowly missed out on his federation’s selection criteria for the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro.

In the days leading up to the second Worldcup race of the season it had been raining repeatedly in Albstadt. Due to this the conditions on the course that is notorious for its tough climbs were tricky at times. But on race day the sun was out and the temperatures were ideal as well. Thus everything was set for a spectacular day of racing on the Swabian Alb. And the spectators were out in force as well, taking care of a great atmosphere along the course. As for the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM, Julian Schelb had to forfeit his home race due to ongoing stomach issues.

Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå had a bad start into her race: After the short start loop the Norwegian was in 15th position, and in the first lap things even got worse as she got into heavy traffic at the first passage of the tech zone. „In the singletrack climb that followed I was forced to dismount and push the bike, and this did cost a lot of time - so much time that 2nd place was the best possible result after.“ Up front Jolanda Neff could speed away unhindered, building a lead of a full minute until the end of the second lap. At the same time Dahle Flesjå was moving up position by position before starting to chase in earnest together with Catherine Pendrel.

„Catherine and I worked together very well, and soon enough it was clear that we would battle it out for 2nd place, as Jolanda unfortunately was out of reach by then. Winning the sprint for 2nd is good for my confidence: My form is spot on, and the preparation for the season in winter has been good. I think I’m on the same level as in 2006 and in 2007, so I think the next win in a Worldcup race is only a matter of time, really“, Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå commented after the race. On the way to the finish the  Norwegian from the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM reduced the gap to the winner to 28 seconds, and she kept the reigning World champion Catherine Pendrel under control handsomely in the sprint for 2nd.

In the men’s race Thomas Litscher was riding in the top10 positions after a strong start. But then the young Swiss rider’s hopes for another good result were thwarted by back pains that only became less towards the end of the race. Due to this Rudi van Houts was the best-placed rider of the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM in Albstadt: For a while the Dutchman even seemed to be on his way to a top10 result, but in the end he finished in 17th, missing out on his federation’s selection criteria by a single place. Right behind him Ondrej Cink crossed the finish line: He had lost considerable time in the dense traffic right after the start before he found his rhythm and started to move up a lot of positions. José Hermida on the other hand narrowly missed out on a top20 result by finishing in 21st.

 

UCI Crosscountry Worldcup, round 2 in Albstadt, Germany

Result Women:

1. Jolanda Neff, SUI, in 1:36.07 hours

2. Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå, NOR/MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM, + 0.28

3. Catherine Pendrel, CAN, + 0.30

 

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