No podium results in la Bresse

At the third race of the crosscountry worldcup in la Bresse, France the athletes of the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM missed out on a podium result: Under demanding conditions, Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå finished the women’s race in 9th while Thomas Litscher was the best-placed rider of the team in the men’s race in 14th.

 

 

Held in the French Vosges mountains, the third round of the crosscountry worldcup served a demanding course to the athletes. The circuit in la Bresse is notorious for its long, steep climb and many technically tricky sections on the way back to the valley floor. As it had been raining extensively the night before, this year’s edition added wet conditions and mud for good measure. This was a challenging situation for the teams’ mechanics as well, as they had to find the best-working tires in close cooperation with the athletes.

 

In the women’s race Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå had to line up for the start a bit further back than what she’s used to. But the Norwegian rider of the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM quickly moved up into the top5 positions of the race. But the gap to the race leader amounted to half a minute quickly and further grew from there. Still a podium position seemed to be within reach for the first half of the race. „Unfortunately I made too many small mistakes throughout the race that were costing me time and positions. And I was not strong enough on the steep climbs to make up for that. I’m a little bit disappointed with my 9th place, but I’m happy to have finished the race in one piece.“

 

Right after the start of the men’s race things were looking gloomy for the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM: Ondrej Cink had problems at the start, got dropped to 80th place and abandoned the race early on. Another rider to lose many positions on the first lap was José Hermida: „I lacked the necessary punch and aggressiveness to defend my position at the start. From the 2nd lap I found my rhythm and worked my way back up the standings to 23rd. On the final lap I had to be a bit more careful as my rear tire had lost some air“, Hermida explained after the race that he had finished in 23rd.

 

Thus it was up to Switzerland’s Thomas Litscher to give the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM a ray of hope: Starting from a lowly 79th position, Litscher moved up to 32nd by the end of the first lap and finished the race in 14th. „I’m pretty satisfied after this pursuit race into the top15. Finally everything came together in a race for me: My body was working the way it’s supposed to, I was riding well and the course in la Bresse is one of my favourites anyway“, Thomas Litscher commented. Thanks to this 14th place he can head into the next worldcup race to be held in Lenzerheide from a better starting position.