José Antonio Hermida – MERIDA brand ambassador
After a long and illustrious racing career, three times World Champion (Junior, U23 and Elite) and long-standing MERIDA racer José Antonio Hermida has retired from the world of Mountain Bike World Cup racing and has joined the MERIDA family as a brand ambassador and product tester.
As one of the most versatile riders in the World Cup, José’s wealth of experience supports not just the development of MERIDA's cross country product range but he also gets involved in our growing range of accessories, as well as our full suspension, cyclo-cross and even road bike line-up.
Besides his increased involvement in the product development side, he will also focus on testing, promotions and events. However, José’s competitive side has not gone away and he will keep one leg in the racing world by continuing with selected marathon and stage races as well as getting involved in enduro and e-bike racing.
José Antonio Hermida is a living legend in the mountain bike world; enthusiastic, always friendly and conversing in five languages, he will shine in his new public role, and we are excited to work with him on the MERIDA product range.
‘After 13 years of José successfully racing for the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM, we are excited to start a new chapter and work even closer together with him. It is not only his vast experience and knowledge but also his great character that makes him the perfect brand ambassador for MERIDA.’ Andreas Rottler, Director of Sport Marketing
‘I am proud to extend my relationship with MERIDA beyond my long-standing racing career with the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM. I am excited to dive into my new role as a brand ambassador, and product tester and I am looking forward to sharing my experience and knowledge with the R&D team and the company as a whole.’ José Antonio Hermida, MERIDA brand ambassador www.hermidabike.com
Further details on José Antonio Hermida
One of most loved and entertaining characters in the world of cross-country mountain bike racing, José Antonio Hermida has got not only an extensive fan base, but he is also one of the most successful and most universally skilled mountain bikers in the world. José was one of the founding members of the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM and has been at the top of his game throughout his long and illustrious career.
With a powerful riding style, a healthy dose of daredevil attitude and with an unbreakable fighting spirit, José has managed to secure not just six World Cup wins, ten national cross country and cyclo-cross titles but also three World Championship wins (Junior, U23 and Senior), gaining his Senior title at the unforgettable 2010 World Championships in Mont Sainte-Anne, Canada. He is a five times Olympian (2nd in Athens, 4th in Sydney and London), three times European Champion and managed to finish in the top five in the overall World Cup for ten years (four of which he finished in 2nd position overall).
Besides XC racing he is also a long-standing and very successful stage racer with former team colleagues Ralf Näf and Rudi van Houts (several Cape Epic stage wins). José demonstrated his strong team spirit and his ability to put a smile on the faces of his teammates and support crew even if the demands of week long stage races started to show.
With a wealth of experience in his sport and a strong connection to MERIDA and its engineers, José has also been heavily involved and responsible for some of the major developments in the line-up of MERIDA. One of his latest (and probably most important technical projects) has been his leading role in the development of the all new BIG.NINE – one of the most up to date, comfortable and lightweight race hardtails in the world. A bike which carries the passion and expertise of our Spanish champion well beyond the end of his World Cup racing career.
One of the most loved and decorated men in mountain biking; José has ended his colourful career in World Cup racing at the end of 2016 but has not shown any signs of slowing down. With a new focus on stage racing, marathons and e-bike competitions as well as supporting our R&D crew by testing the latest material, José has his work cut out for the foreseeable future, and we are excited to see what the always friendly and always funny man from Spain will be up to in his ‘retirement’.