Thomas Litscher will join the Multivan Merida Biking Team for the 2013 season. The Swiss mountain biker won 2011's under 23 cross country world championships and has signed a two-year contract with the team.
At 23 years of age, Litscher has racked up an impressive number of victories in both the junior and under 23 categories. In 2007, the Swiss rider won both the world and European junior championships, and from 2009 to 2011, he won a bronze, silver and finally the gold medal at three consecutive under 23 cross country world championships.
His successes have indicated to his new team that he has the potential to be a top contender within the elite cross country mountain bike ranks.
Litscher's talent goes beyond cross country racing. The young rider has also been scoring some strong results in both sprint and marathon races. For example, he is the reigning Swiss national champion in the fledgling eliminator format, and 2011 he also won an 84-kilometre marathon in Offenburg.
"I consider myself an all-rounder. Long, steep climbs are not my strong point, but the modern kind of cross country courses with a steady up and down and technical sections suits me perfectly," said Litscher. "And since I am quite an explosive kind of rider, I can also do well in the sprint eliminator format."
His first year in the elite ranks, 2012, was plagued with injuries and crashes, and as a consequence, he dropped in the world rankings from a 12th to 39th. In Mont Sainte-Anne, he got his best World Cup result of the year with a 15th place.
"But in 2011, I had four top 10 finishes in the World Cup, which is something I should be able to repeat next year. I just hope that I got all the bad luck in 2012, so I can get back to my old strength next year. Becoming a member of the Multivan Merida Biking Team to me means making the step to the sport's top league. Clad in this team's distinct colours, I want to further develop as a rider and establish myself within the elite ranks of the sport. And of course the big goal has to be the elite world championship title."
Multivan Merida manager Andreas Rottler also expects a lot from his new signing from Switzerland. "Thomas is both a young and very complete top rider. He has a bright future ahead of him, and I am sure he's going to feel fine in our team. Signing Thomas was important to ensure a healthy mix of experienced and young athletes within the team. We are absolutely looking forward to working with him."
Litscher has been racing with the Felt Ötztal X-Bionic team.