Following in the footsteps of his teammate and world champion Jose Antonio Hermida, Ralph Näf extended his contract with the Multivan Merida Biking Team for two years. The contract will cover Näf as he works toward his goal of the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Näf is always a contender to win mountain bike races in both the Olympic distance cross country format and in longer distance races. This year, the former (2006) marathon World Champion won the European Marathon Championships. He also anchored the winning Swiss team in the team relay at the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships.
The Swiss rider finished on the podium at three of this season's World Cup cross country races, contributing significantly to his team's win in the overall World Cup standings.
Bicycle manufacturer Merida said Näf had contributed decisively to the development of the company's fully suspended race bike, the Ninety Six, and that he is still working closely with engineers on various mountain bike-related projects, which it did not specify.