A Bronze Medal and Three Top 10 Finishes 08-May-2012
A bronze medal and three top10 finishes
At the German national marathon championships in Singen, Hannes Genze stepped on the podium in third for the «Multivan Merida Biking Team», and Jochen Käß finished in ninth. One day earlier, the third race of the Swiss national cross country series was being contested in Solothurn. Ralph Näf rode to fourth-place finish against strong competitors, José Hermida finished in Sixth.
Hannes Genze of the «Multivan Merida Biking Team» was considered to be one the favourites at the German national marathon championships. When a lead group of the riders formed, Genze was a part of it just like his team mate Jochen Käß. «In fact I wanted to ride for Hannes, but no one in the group would take a share in the lead. So there was no steady pace», Jochen Käß comments on the race. And this should be of significance for the turn of events: After 60 of a total of 94 kilometres, Matthias Leisling attacked on his own, and soon Markus Kaufmann and Robert Mennen set off to chase him.
At this time, Hannes Genze had already written off all chances for a podium spot. «Unfortunately my legs were not all that good today, and since no one except for Jochen was willing to keep the pace high, the race got pretty much erratic.» Nevertheless Genze managed to close the gap on a now slowing down Leisling on the last kilometres and win the Bronze medal. «All of a sudden I saw Matthias in front of me, and that called up my racing instinct. He had no chance to react to my attack.» The German national championships was won by Markus Kaufmann, who only had a slim margin of 13 seconds on Robert Mennen. Jochen Käß decided to ride the last part of the race economically in order to save his power for the tasks that lie ahead and crossed the finish line in ninth.
One day earlier Solothurn hosted the third race of the BMC Racing Cup. As a matter of fact, the race was part of the national bicycle festival BikeDays, and the numerous spectators got treated to a thrilling race of the elite men category, in part due to the characteristics of the course. With Ralph Näf and José Hermida, two athletes of the «Multivan Merida Biking Team» were competing, and Hermida commented on the course: «It was pretty easy to get an advantage in the demanding forest sections, but it was also easy for the chasers to close the gap on the long, flat parts back to the finish area. Because of this, a tactical race ensued and most people rode in groups.»
When Nino Schurter, Moritz Milatz and Christoph Sauser got a decisive advantage in the lead halfway into the race, Ralph Näf could not follow. «After that I was riding in fourth position on my own for another three laps, with another trio chasing me. Despite the rain showers the course was still well rideable, and the crowd in the finish area was great.» Asked about the next worldcup race in Nove Mesto, Näf is optimistic: «All the pain caused by my crash in Houffalize has gone. So I am going to Czechia to ride my own race and do my very best without getting all crazy about the ongoing battle for the Olympic tickets.»
José Hermida made a couple of mistakes in the forest sections throughout the first two laps, but he simply soldiered on: «I kept the speed high and soon after was riding in a group with Marotte and Flückiger, trailing the leading trio and Ralph Näf. Friday's sprint race was not great in terms of results, but it fitted my current training schedules perfectly, as I am competing in a lot of sprint races right now in order to maximize my liveliness. As for the important races that follow suit now, I am confident as the feeling is good.» The next two weekends are going to be stacked with Worldcup races in Nove Mesto and La Bresse.