Multivan Merida Biking Team
Regular guests on Worldcup podiums
Regular guests on Worldcup podiums
After four out of a total of seven rounds, the crosscountry Worldcup ist taking a two-month summer break. About time for the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM to take a look back at the first half of the season. After all, the four most recent races had quite some highlights on offer.
2014's Worldcup season started on a high for the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM: In the women's race Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå rode to a 2nd place while no less than three athletes of the team made it into the top10 in the men's race in Pietermaritzburg: With Ondrej Cink in 4th and José Hermida in 5th the team had two riders on the podium, and Thomas Litscher started his Worldcup campaign with a strong 7th place. Rudi van Houts narrowly missed out on his goal to regularly make it into the top15 by finishing in 18th, but the team managed to score an important success by winning the team's classification. And Julian Schelb added another top10 result by finishing in 8th in the men's under23 race.
Two weeks later the riders were facing a tricky course in Cairns. While Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå had decided not to make the trip to Australia, Rudi van Houts had to forfeit the race due to a crash when practicing on the course. His three team mates all managed to repeat their top10 results: José Hermida finished on the podium again in 5th, Thomas Litscher finished in 7th just like two weeks earlier and Ondrej Cink followed suit in 8th. Ending up in 2nd in the team's classification, the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM successfully defended its lead in the Worldcup standings. Thus it was no drama that Julian Schelb missed out on a top10 result finishing in 12th. After all, Schelb had been performing brilliantly at the first race of the eliminator sprint Worldcup: The young German finished in 5th, scoring his first elite podium result.
For the third round the crosscountry Worldcup returned to Europe. And in Nove Mesto Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå managed to confirm the strong result she had scored in South Africa. Finishing in 3rd she got to celebrate another podium finish. The men of the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM did not fare as well: Of all races Ondrej Cink suffered a flat tire on the opening lap at his home race. After that he never made it back to the front of the race. José Hermida on the other hand narrowly missed out on another podium result by finishing in 6th and Thomas Litscher added another top10-finish to his tally by crossing the line in 10th. Julian Schelb and Rudi van Houts had less stellar races: Schelb could do no better than 22nd in the under23 race, and Rudi van Houts had to settle for 44th.
The race in Albstadt marked the end of the first half of the Worldcup season, and for the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM this is as close to a home race as it gets . On race day everything was fine at first: Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå rode another strong race in Southern Germany and finished in 2nd. Julian Schelb was slowed down by stomach problems however and could do no better than a 20th place in the under23 race. The men's team was denied a sense of achievement as well for once: Both Ondrej Cink and Thomas Litscher were struggling with health issues that forced them to abandon the race. José Hermida never really found his rhythm and crossed the finish line in 14th. Rudi van Houts was showing a strong race, as the Dutchman was riding around 15th position for an hour before he slipped to a 22nd place on the final two laps.
After four races Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå is placed in 2nd in the Worldcup's overall standings. José Hermida dropped from 2nd to sixth in Albstadt, and Julian Schelb is currently in 14th in the under23 category. In the team's standings the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM is in 2nd for the men's and in 3rd for the mixed team category.