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March 27/06 7:48 am - Swisspower Cup #1

Posted by Editoress on 03/27/06

Ralph Näf: Double Victory at the Swisspower Cup
Courtesy Team Merida Multivan

At the first race of this year’s Swisspower Cup in Volketswil, Swiss mountain biker Ralph Näf soloed to victory in both the prestigeous shortrace and Sunday’s main race. In a superior fashion, the Multivan Merida Biking Team rider dominated the international competition, containing big names such as Olympic champion Julien Absalon or two-time worldcup overall winner Christoph Sauser.

After this victory, Näf is considered as crown favourite for 2006’s mountain bike worldcup, which sets off next Saturday in Curaçao. It was impressive to watch him control his competitors without anyone being able to keep up with him. And Curaçao’s course is exactly to his likings: fast, lots of changes of rhythm and almost completely on narrow tracks, comments Andreas Rottler, Multivan Merida Biking Team’s manager, on Näf’s shape.

Näf’s team mate José Hermida could not perform as he had wished: After some podium finishes in the still very early season the Spaniard simply did not have the necessary power at the Swisspower Cup. In order to save much needed energy for the upcoming worldcup season, Hermida decided to withdraw from the race halfway through the distance.

The third rider of the Multivan Merida Biking Team, Germany’s Moritz Milatz proved that he is in splendid shape. After an excellent started his chain jammed unfortunately: Fixing the problem costed him more than a minute, which set him back to the 30th position. The following chase, which brought Milatz back to a tenth place finish, gives a hint on how excellent his shape is.

In the women’s race, Nina Göhl was Multivan Merida Biking Team’s only starter. As she is planning to peak later on in the season, she is making good use of the Swisspower Cup as a practice unit. The young German was very satisfied with her sixth place finish, looking forward to the upcoming races confidently. Göhl’s team mate Gunn-Rita Dahle is already preparing for the start of the worldcup in Curaçao.

1. Ralph Näf (Swe) 1:35.22
2. Fredrik Kessiakoff (Swe) at 0:28
3. Julien Absalon (Fra) 0:55
4. Florian Vogel (Sui) 1:05
5. Thomas Frischknecht (Sui) 3:06
6. Christoph Sauser (Sui) 3:37
7. Martin Gujan (Sui) 3:57
8. Silvio Bundi (Sui) 3:57
9. Hannes Metzler (Aut) 4:05
10. Moritz Milatz (Ger) 4:22

Men Shortrace
1. Ralph Näf (Sui)
2. Martin Gujan (Sui)
3. Florian Vogel (Sui)
4. Fredrik Kessiakoff (Swe)
5. Andreas Kugler (Sui)
6. Thomas Frischknecht (Sui)
7. Christoph Sauser (Sui)
8. Peter Riis-Andersen (Den)
9. Silvio Bundi (Sui)
10. José Antonio Hermida (ESP)

1. Bärbel Jungmeier (Aut) 1:39:30
2. Petra Henzi (Sui) at0:22
3. Irina Kalentieva (Rus) 1:07
4. Ivonne Kraft (Ger) 1:50
5. Daniela Louis (Sui) 3:33
6. Pia Sundstedt (Swe) 03:40
7. Nina Göhl (Ger) 05:35
8. Maroussia Rusca (Sui) 06:33
9. Esther Süss (Sui) 7:52
10. Elisabeth Osl (Aut) 8:35

15. Sandra Walter (Can) 11:28
DNF. Martina Feldmann (Can)


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