MTB RacingMultivan MErida
Since 2004, the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM has been scoring over 30 World Cup wins as well as Olympic gold and silver medals. Their impressive list of success also includes ten World and eleven European Championship titles (respectively), several 2nd ranks and bronze medals. But MERIDA’s professional riders do not only support our company’s reputation by stellar performance – at the same time, they fulfil another very important role as test pilots.
The top athletes of MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM are always provided with the latest equipment for testing it up to the edge of capacity during training. In return, they provide us with tons of practical input regarding handling, details and safety. When our MULTIVAN riders finally absolve competitions in the saddle of brand-new MERIDA bikes, they can rely on completely optimized configurations. This guarantees that achieved stiffness and effectively superior handling qualify our products for the most challenging situations.
In consequence, MERIDA users always benefit directly from our sportive dedication and success. Our main objective is to meet riders’ individual demands in the best possible way for complete customer satisfaction. That’s why the dream job of MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM members represents all-out commitment on each and every level.
The Multivan stands for limitless leisure and sport mobility. The large capacity limousine is a practical and indispensable transporter for people who love trend sports such as cycling and surfing. With its flexible inner space concept the Multivan provides enough room for all the bicycle racing equipment anyone could need.
«Merida is the ideal partner for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. Both produce high-quality products and are among the world's most successful teams in their branch of industry», according to Stephan Schaller, brand board speaker for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.
EliTe MTB TeamTeam Racers
The last season saw the return of Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå to the winning circle in the Olympic Cross Country format... more
José Antonio Hermida
Spain’s José Hermida started the last season with a commanding win at the Andalucia Bike Race... more
Rudi van Houts
Two of the highlights of Rudi van Houts’ season were competing at London’s Olympic games and... more
At the end of 2012, Thomas Litscher was positioned only in 39th in the UCI world ranking. But this does not reflect the true strength of 2011’s under23 World Cross Country champion... more
Last August, Ondrej Cink was the youngest starter at the London’s Olympic bike race at an age of 21 years. And the rider from the Czech Republic showed a courageous race... more
Elite MTB Team2012’S SEASON IN RETROSPECT
The biggest successes of 2012’s season
Gold Medal – World Championships XCE – Näf
Silver Medal – World Championships XCM – Dahle
Gold Medal – European Championships XCO – Dahle
Bronze Medal – European Championships XCO – Näf
4th – Olympic Race XCO –Hermida
2x World Cup Victory XCO – Dahle
1x World Cup Victory XCO – Team
1x 2nd World Cup – Hermida
1x 3rd World Cup – Näf
2x 5th World Cup – Hermida / Dahle
2nd overall ranking World Cup – Dahle
5th overall ranking World Cup – Hermida
3rd overall ranking World Cup – Team
Andalucia Bike Race Victory
3rd Cape Epic – overall ranking Kugler / Genze
UCI Worldcup, Team Ranking Cross Country
1. SPECIALIZED RACING 504
2. CANNONDALE FACTORY RACING 413
3. MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM 380
4. SCOTT - SWISSPOWER MTB RACING TEAM 352
Writing history of sports…
For the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM, the 2012 season brought some highly memorable successes that will find their way into the history of sports. Winning the Worldcup races in la Bresse and Val d’Isère respectively, Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå now has won 28 times in 16 years, a truly outstanding career performance. These 28 wins equal the record of Julie Furtado, one of the dominating riders in the early days of mountainbiking.
Another performance for the history books was Ralph Näf’s win at the first world championships ever in the crosscountry eliminator format at Saalfelden. This marked a triumphant finale of Näf’s ten years with the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM.
Another impressive performance was the fact that no less than four riders of the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM made it to London’s Olympic bike race. No other team could match that number. But an Olympic medal remained out of reach: José Hermida’s fourth-place finish was the best the team riders could do, and Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå had to endure a particularly frustrating Olympic race with an early crash and a mechanical throwing her out of contention. A few weeks later however, Dahle Flesjå was back to her own strength, adding the Silver medal at the Cross Country World championships to the European Cross Country champion title she had won in Moscow.
At the same European championships, Ralph Näf won a Bronze medal. José Hermida finished another season within the top5 of the Worldcup overall standings, and the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM confirmed its status as one of the strongest teams in Cross Country racing. Nevertheless, the team’s management has decided to rejuvenate the line-up of the team drastically for 2013. As MERIDA’s brand ambassadors, the two experienced professionals Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå and José Hermida continue as the team’s captains, and Rudi van Houts still is with the team as well. Ralph Näf and Jochen Käß however have left the team. After the main focus of the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM will be on the Cross County discipline in the future the two marathon specialist Hannes Genze and Andreas Kugler have left the squad as well.
… and a rejuvenated team for 2013
They are being replaced by the respective under23 World champions of 2011 and 2012, Switzerland’s Thomas Litscher and Ondrej Cink of the Czech Republic. «We expect these young, talented and hungry riders to put some pressure on our long time team members and at the same time learn the ropes from them in order to become contenders for wins in the elite category as well. Rudi van Houts is kind of the connecting link between the talents and the seasoned riders», Andreas Rottler comments on the new signings. «The clear priority of the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM is on the Cross Country Worldcup races and the expanded series of Cross Country eliminator races. In addition, we are going to compete in selected stage and marathon races such as the Andalucia Bike Race or the ABSA Cape Epic.»
One more change deserves to be mentioned: Andreas Rottler has handed over the position as the manager of the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM to his long-term assistant Fabian Aust. Rottler himself has been promoted to become MERIDA Europe’s Director of Sport Marketing, coordinating the brand’s sponsoring effort in both mountainbiking and road cycling.