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Hermida warms up on Olympic course

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Jose Antonio Hermida (Multivan Merida) loves racing at Mont-Sainte-Anne

Jose Antonio Hermida (Multivan Merida) loves racing at Mont-Sainte-Anne
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)
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Jose Antonio Hermida (Multivan Merida) had a pedal mechanical problem that cost him many places.

Jose Antonio Hermida (Multivan Merida) had a pedal mechanical problem that cost him many places.
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Jose Hermida (Merida) leads a group up the long opening climb

Jose Hermida (Merida) leads a group up the long opening climb
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Nino Schurter (Scott Swisspower) looks over at his sprint rival Jose Hermida (Multivan Merida)

Nino Schurter (Scott Swisspower) looks over at his sprint rival Jose Hermida (Multivan Merida)
(Image credit: Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing)
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Jose Hermida (Multivan Merida) chases

Jose Hermida (Multivan Merida) chases
(Image credit: Armin Küstenbrück)

Jose Antonio Hermida has been in London for the past five days doing final preparations for the Olympic Games cross country mountain bike race, which will happen on Sunday. The Spaniard has been checking out the course and doing some easy training sessions.

Hermida won a silver medal in Athens Olympics in 2004 and was 10th in 2008 in Beijing. He earned his first and only cross country world championship title in 2010.

"I'm calm and happy with the feelings I've had, and there have been no setbacks," said Hermida. "I feel good and motivation is high."

Hermida has trained twice on the circuit and plans to see it again on Saturday.

"It's a very fast circuit with very good drainage, so mud is not expected," he said. "There are some fairly complicated technical areas, but generally it's going to be a very fast course. There are no steep climbs nor long climbs, but it will be very demanding for the riders. On Saturday, the goal is to see that there have been no changes in the track due to the riders training."

Although he is expecting a high speed race, Hermida does not think the course lends itself to the formation of large groups of riders. "I imagine there will be small groups of two and three riders with small gaps between them that are difficult to close."

"My work is already done," said the Multivan Merida rider. "Sunday is the time to put into practice all those months of intense sacrifice."