MERIDA News & Events
Two Wins for the Multivan Merida Biking Team 01-May-2012
Two wins for the «Multivan Merida Biking Team» in Heubach
At the second race of the Mountainbike Bundesliga in Heubach (Germany), the riders of the «Multivan Merida Biking Team» were amongst the principal actors: Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå won her second consecutive race in this series, Jochen Käß won Saturday's short race and José Hermida rode to a podium finish in the men's race.
Just like in Münsingen where the season had been opened with the Spring Classic a week earlier, Heubach's «BiketheRock» event is a constant value in Germany's racing calendar. This time, Heubach welcomed the participants with very agreeable temperatures and ideal conditions, a nice and welcomed change after the battle of attrition in the mud and cold of Münsingen that had been taken place a week earlier. The course in Heubach was as relentless as always, however: «One race lap took us about 13 minutes. Ten of these minutes were climbing, another three descending - it's simply a brutal loop», José Hermida commented on the course.
On Saturday, the Short Race was being contested on a short lap. After problems in the run-up to the season and some early races, this was the time for Jochen Käß to build up some confidence. Other than usual, there were no early heats of four to six riders, so thirty riders were being sent on a short and wild chase with a mass start. Käß managed to place himself in the first positions right from the start then he took over the lead and managed to distance his competitors. But due to a slip he had to let them catch him again. «But as I did not have to give it all on the first three laps, I was confident that I could still get back into the lead. That's exactly what I did before the last bit of singletrail, and that more or less was the match decider already», Käß said.
In the women's race, Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå chose the same tactics as a week earlier in Münsingen: From the very start, she took control of the race and accelerated until she had dropped everyone except Sabine Spitz. WIth another acceleration, she got rid of her as well and further extended her lead to cross the finish line with a lead of more than a minute. «I am familiar with Heubach from a lot of races and training camps, so this was pretty much a home game to me. Today I won in the way that I like most: Dominate from the very start and solo for the win», Dahle reasoned about her race, also referring to her equipment when answered about her recent winning streak: «The Big.Nine was a big help for me today as well, it offered advantages in terms of traction. I am at one with this bike, and that certainly has helped me to get back to my own old best.»
The men's race in Heubach was as competitive as a Worldcup race. But when Fabian Giger set a blistering pace right from the start, José Hermida saw no chance to follow. But apart from Giger, Hermida only had to let one other rider to cross the finish line ahead of him with Moritz Milatz, finishing in third. «I could not follow Giger or Milatz on the steepest ramps, my legs were hurting badly like that already. But I already feel better than I did in Houffalize, the speed is clearly coming back. Now I am going to focus on sprint races to further work on my liveliness.» Jochen Käß was riding in the first ten positions for the entire race, finishing in sixth. «If I had given it my all, I would have been able to finish in fourth, but for that I would have had to dig deep, which might have resulted in a longer recuperation needed. But my form is on target, and this weekend certainly was a compensation for a couple of races that went wrong at the beginning of the season.»
As from the team's perspective, Fabian Aust as the team manager's assistant drew a positive conclusion after Heubach's weekend: «With Gunn-Rita winning the women's race and Jochen winning the Short Race and then a third place of José and a sixth place of Jochen in the men's race, this has been a successful weekend. These results show that all riders are on a good way and on target to peak at the next couple of major events.