Ondrej Cink 4th at home Worlds

At the cross country World championships the riders of the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM missed out on the medal spots. Ondrej Cink however showed a strong race in front of an enthusiast home crowd and got to celebrate a strong 4th place. Meanwhile José Hermida missed out on a top10 result by a mere 2 seconds.



Due to the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro this year’s cross country World championships were held at an extraordinarily early date. Perfect weather conditions and about 50’000 enthusiast fans along the course made for a great atmosphere in Nove Mesto, Czechia. And the course was a real challenge as well, with tough climbs, tricky descents and countless roots demanding everything from the athletes. As the Swiss federation had decided not to field Thomas Litscher despite his strong current shape, the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM only had three of its riders competing at the championships. As for the women’s race Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå was considered a medal contender. Ondrej Cink also was an outsider candidate for a medal in the men’s race whereas José Hermida was looking to seal his Olympic ticket at the World championships.


From the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM’s perspective these World championships in Nove Mesto were a true rollercoaster of emotions. After all, Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå’s hopes to win a medal were brutally destroyed after a mere 300 meters of racing. After a less than optimal start the Norwegian was knocked over by an over-eager competitor just before the first corner. While Dahle Flesjå managed to walk away from the crash on her own feet and was lucky to only suffer large-scale  abrasions and bruises, her bike’s carbon handlebar had snapped upon impact. Thus the Norwegian’s World championship race came to a sudden and painful end after only a few seconds and through no fault of her own. At least Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå’s injuries seem to be superficial in nature, so she’s planning to compete at the Worldcup race to be held in Lenzerheide next weekend.


The men’s race delivered more joyful moments, and Ondrej Cink was riding in the top5 positions from the very start. With the full support of the equally large and enthusiast crowds Cink managed to bridge the gap to the tow leaders Nino Schurter and Jaroslav Kulhavy with an impressive effort on the second lap. But Cink had to pay for this effort throughout the second half of the race as he had to let the three fastest riders of the day ride away from him. The young Czech rider managed to defend his 4th place all the way to the finish, however. „You only get one chance at the World championships, and I did my best to go for it. Finishing in 4th is great, and racing in front of this many fans was an experience that I will remember for a long time coming“, Cink commented after the race. A bit further back, José Hermida as the second rider of the MULTIVAN MERIDA BIKING TEAM showed a solid race. He was riding in about 15th position from the very start and managed to move up in the standings to finish in 11th place, only missing out on a top10 spot by a mere two seconds.


UCI World championships Cross Country (XCO) 2016, Nove Mesto/CZE

Result men:

1. Nino Schurter, SUI, in 1:28.20 hours

2. Jaroslav Kulhavy, CZE, + 0.17

3. Julien Absalon, FRA, + 0.30