Two national championship titles for the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM
Two national championship titles for the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAMVarious countries across Europe crowned their new national champions in mountain biking’s Olympic cross country format. In Norway and the Czech Republic respectively, Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå and Ondrej Cink managed to win their championship races. José Hermida won the Silver medal in Spain and Rudi van Houts the Bronze medal in the Netherlands.
With one year to go for Rio de Janeiro’s Olympic games, the national championships in mountain biking’s cross country format are of even more importance. Thus five athletes of the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM lined up for their respective championship races in Norway, Czech Republic, Spain, the Netherlands and Switzerland this weekend. For Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå the race held at the outskirts of the Norwegian capital of Oslo was a real first as she decided to opt for MERIDA’s new full-suspension race bike NINETY-SIX for the first time in a race. „I spent quite some time in the saddle of the new bike in the weeks before the championship in order to fully profit from its strenghts. That paid off in Oslo, and it was fun to race at home for a change and to do it on such a fast and smooth bike.“ Dahle Flesjå lived up to her status as favourite and won the race with a commanding lead of two and a half minutes.
Ondrej Cink had been preparing intensively for the second half of the season in Tyrol together with his MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM mate Thomas Litscher. And this paid off at the Czech Republic’s national championships held in Kutna Hora: „Right after the start I was only riding in 6th position, but I managed to move up quickly from there. When Jaroslav Kulhavy crashed on a descent in the second lap I managed to get past him and build a decisive lead that I held on to all the way to the finish, Ondrej Cink commented after what already was his second national elite championship title after the one he won in 2013. In Spain’s capital of Madrid José Hermida as the reigning champion was facing some strong competition. And while he managed to keep Carlos Coloma at bay, he was beaten a bit surprisingly by David Valero in the fight for the title. Hermida still made it to the podium in 2nd, winning Silver and getting some valuable feedback that his build-up for the 2nd half of the season is right on target.
Rudi van Houts also won a medal in the Netherlands, but before the race in Zoetermeer he had pointed out that he was aiming at nothing but the title. This explains why the rider of the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM was everything but happy after having finished the race in 3rd and having won a Bronze medal. „At first I easily managed to close down any gaps that occurred, and halfway into the race I gave it a try and placed an attack. But alas I did not get away from the chasers and had to pay dearly for the extra effort after“, Rudi van Houts critically analyzed his race. After a strong 13th place at Lenzerheide’s Worldcup race he clearly had had higher ambitions. Thomas Litscher is slowly getting back to his normal level, but seen the large number of strong riders in Switzerland this was not enough to be a factor in the men’s national championship race held in Langendorf. On a scorching hot day Thomas Litscher finished the race in 9th, almost five minutes behind the day’s winner Nino Schurter. One month earlier Julian Schelb had finished in 5th at the German national championships.
National championships cross country 2015
Oslo, Norway: Women
1. Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå, MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM, in 1:34.58 hours
2. Elisabeth Sveum, + 2.27
3. Ingrid Sofie Bøe Jacobsen, + 4.48
Kutna Hora, Czech Republic: Men
1. Ondrej Cink, MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM, in 1:41.10 hours
2. Jaroslav Kulhavy, + 0.46
3. Jan Skarnitzl, + 1.11
Madrid, Spain: Men
1. David Valero, in 1:36.53 hours
2. Jose Hermida, MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM, + 1.01
3. Carlos Coloma, + 1.48
Zoetermeer, Netherlands: Men
1. Michiel van der Heijden, in 1:34.27 Stunden
2. Hans Becking, + 0.24
3. Rudi van Houts, MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM, + 0.58
Langendorf, Switzerland: Men
1. Nino Schurter, in 1:31.47 hours
2. Florian Vogel, + 0.06
3. Lukas Flückiger, + 0.34
9. Thomas Litscher, MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM, + 4.52