The Multivan Merida mountain bike team has signed Julian Schelb to its squad for 2014 and 2015. The German rider was the runner-up at the U23 cross country mountain bike world championships.
"It was not a hard decision as the Multivan Merida Biking Team offers the best support and surroundings," Schelb said. "After all, my personal coach Ralph Näf rode for this team until the end of 2012, and I also know José Hermida and Rudi van Houts pretty well already. I have spent several weeks in training camps in South Africa with Rudi twice, and thanks to Ralph, I also got to know José."
Schelb's addition continues the Multivan Merida team's effort to add young talent. The team had signed both Thomas Litscher and Ondrej Cink beginning with the 2013 season. The two riders jumped right into team and made their way onto the World Cup podium. Litscher finished in fourth in the Nove Mesto, Czech Republic World Cup while Cink rode to a second place in Vallnord, Andorra World Cup.
Schelb will turn 21 years old in November. His best performances thus far were three second places: at the German under 23 championships, he was beaten by Christian Pfäffle; at the world championships Schelb got involved in a pile-up right after the start and still moved up to second behind Gerhard Kerschbaumer; and at the Mont-Sainte-Anne World Cup, Schelb also finished second on a technical course.
Schelb is making the move from Team Lexware-Rothaus, as his contact is expiring. He was on the wish list of many team managers for 2014.
When asked about his goals, the young rider replied with self-confidence and purpose. "I want to add some top results in my last year with the under 23s, and after that I will aim to step over to the elite category as smoothly as possible."
Commenting on both his strengths and weaknesses, he said, "My biggest asset is my fighting spirit. Once I have set sights on a target, I can push myself beyond reasonable limits to get there. And in terms of bike handling skills, I'm on par with the best riders."
"My weak spot is my lack of organization: If it were up to me I would spend half a day on the sofa every now and then. But I'm sure that the Multivan Merida Biking Team can add the necessary structure to my schedule so I can perform at my very maximum."
Multivan Merida Team Manager Fabian Aust is looking forward to working with Schelb: "First of all, we are glad that Julian has signed with us. He's a rider with a bright future, and now that we have rejuvenated our squad, we are able to calmly plan the years ahead. Of course, it's a good thing that the team will be competing with three World Cup racers now. And of course, I hope Julian will follow in the footsteps of Thomas Litscher and Ondrej Cink by being competitive in the elite category right away in 2015."