The Multivan Merida Biking Team had nothing but bad luck at the Offenburg round of the World Cup last weekend in Germany. Although the team was fortunate not to have its bikes stolen as they were in Houffalize, abandons, illnesses and mechanical problems posed different challenges.
Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå, Nina Wrobel and Ralph Näf all had to abandon their races due to health problems, and Robert Gehbauer decided not to start at all for the same reason. Dahle Flesjå pulled out of her race in the second lap in order to save power for next weekend's World Cup race in Madrid. Wrobel faced a similar situation - deciding to call it quits after half of the race. Näf's abandon came just after one lap in the men's race as he could not breathe freely due to a cold.
A determined Moritz Milatz went into the race afflicted with health problems as well, but he managed to finish a 28th nonetheless.
That left the team's main hopes pinned on José Hermida. The Spaniard chased eventual winner Julien Absalon hard in attempt to follow his decisive attack, but suffered bad luck himself when his chain broke on the final lap. Hermida ended up dropping to 24th place after his mechanical.
"I had to walk for quite a long distance which made me lose an incredible lot of positions," said the Spaniard after the finish. "I felt very good and therefore everything would have been possible today. But when your chain breaks in the final lap you hardly get a chance to chase back.