Two podium results in Gränichen

The crosscountry worldcup takes a break after the two races held in Albstadt and la Bresse. With Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå and Thomas Litscher two athletes of the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM decided to ride the Swiss Bike Cup race in Gränichen. Facing strong opposition, Dahle Flesjå finished in 3rd and Litscher got to celebrate a 5th place.

 

 

As Switzerland’s national crosscountry racing series the Swiss Bike Cup is well-known to attract star-studded fields of starters. Add to that selective courses that can compete with those on the worldcup circuit. No wonder the start lists for the HC race in Gränichen read like a who is who of crosscountry racing. The MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM contributed to this, fielding Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå and Thomas Litscher. In their respective races they faced very different but equally difficult conditions. While the gravel pit sections of Gränichen’s course held up well to the wet May weather, the sections leading over meadows turned into veritable mudbaths.

 

The sun was shining when the women headed into their race on Sunday morning. But the course in Gränichen had been soaked by rainfalls throughout the week before the race, and the drying mud sticked to the tired and the bikes alikes. Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå had a slightly slower start, losing contact to three Swiss riders in the opening lap. From there the Norwegian managed to accelerate and move up to 3rd place. „Last week I was in Livigno for altitude training, and this was really exhausting. I needed today’s race and I’m glad to have started here. All the more so as it’s not a bad idea to have a real mud race before the world championships in Nove Mesto“, Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå commented after the race.

 

Just before the start of the men’s race heavy rain fell down in Gränichen, causing a true mudbath. Thomas Litscher was facing some strong competition and had to start from a lowly 17th position. Despite a crash on the very first descent, the Swiss rider of the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM found his rhythm and moved up all the way to 4th place. Although he could not defend this position in the finale, Litscher still managed to finish on the podium in 5th, showing that he is approaching the kind of class that he had shown throughout the 2014 season. „Today’s horrid conditions were in my favour. These kind of circumstances are where I excel in, even though I crashed twice. Things are improving and I’m truly looking forward to the next couple of races“, Litscher reflected on his performance before being called to attend the podium ceremony.

 

Swiss Bike Cup Gränichen, Switzerland (HC)

Women elite:

1. Jolanda Neff, SUI, in 1:22.18 hours

2. Linda Indergand, SUI, + 2.06

3. Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå, NOR/MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM, + 3.19

 

Men elite:

1. Nino Schurter, SUI, in 1:23.19 hours

2. Florian Vogel, SUI, + 0.12

3. Reto Indergand, SUI, + 0.38

also-ran:

5. Thomas Litscher, SUI/MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM, + 1.47