Hermida’s sign of life at worldcup finals
Hermida’s sign of life at worldcup finals
At the finals of the cross country worldcup in Val di Sole, Italy José Hermida showed a courageous race: MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM’s Spaniard was competing for a podium position and finally finished in 7th. Despite abandoning the women’s race Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå held on to 2nd in the worldcup’s overall standings.
At the finals of the cross country worldcup in Val di Sole the athletes were facing a brutally power-sapping course. The climbs were long, technical and brutally steep in places. To make matters worse the rain that had fallen in the night before the race had made the steep descent treacherously slippy. So there was no lack of challenges in the North of Italy. From MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM’s perspective the signs were not overly positive for the women’s race: Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå was positioned in 2nd in the overall standings, and in theory she still was in reach of winning the overall. But in the week before the race the Norwegian suffered from food poisoning.
As a consequence Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå struggled to get up to speed at the beginning of the race: After the first lap she was only riding in 16th, and soon after the Norwegian was forced to abandon the race due to a mechanical. Her second place in the worldcup’s overall standings seemed to be in jeopardy, but in the end she managed to hold on to it. „Due to the food poisoning, I had spent most of the week before today in bed and could not eat properly. If this had been a less important race, I would not have started. But I did, went steady at the start and just when I got into a halfways decent pace I was forced to abandon. It’s always a pity not to finish a race, but at least I saved my second place in the overall standings, and that’s something to be proud of.“
In the men’s race Julian Schelb had decided to forego competing at the worldcup finals. Thus the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM was fielding four riders with Ondrej Cink, José Hermida, Rudi van Houts and Thomas Litscher. In the blistering fast start loop Ondrej Cink lost quite some positions due to the frantic traffic. But from there he and José Hermida moved back up into the top10 standings. But in the fifth lap Cink had to pay for that effort as he forced to abandon the race due to circulation problems in the fifth lap. José Hermida on the other hand worked his way up to fifth place at the end of the same lap. As four riders had taken off early on to lead the race, the fifth and final place on the podium was heavily contested. In the end Hermida had to settle for 7th.
„Today I felt good right from the start, and finally I was able to take the race by the horns. In the battle for the podium positions there’s always someone who ends up in 6th or 7th, and sadly that was me today. But as for the world championships I think I’m right on track: I had to overcome some problems in the first half of the season, but then I was able to train at full intensity again, and as a result I’m back competing for top positions“, a happy José Hermida commented at the finish. Rudi van Houts was not as satisfied. MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM’s Dutchman finished the race in 18th and reckoned that he could have done even better: „Unfortunately I went over my limit in the fifth lap, and I had to pay dearly for that on the final two laps.“
Thomas Litscher finished the last worldcup race of the season in 38th. In the teams’ classification of the cross country worldcup the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM finished the season in 2nd in the men’s standings. This is proof for constantly strong performances on the highest level, even if this season may have lacked the real big successes. Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå finished the worldcup season with a 2nd place in the women’s overall standings. And by winning her 29th worldcup race in Lenzerheide she crowned herself as the most successful rider in the history of the sport, adding another record to her tally. With the world championships to be held in Andorra in two weeks’ time the athletes of the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM are looking forward to one final highlight of the season.