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Swiss cyclist bottoms out at world championships

Switzerland is already out of the competition. Keystone / EPA / AFP Photo / Patrick Kovarik

Switzerland's Patrick Merk came in second-to-last at Wednesday's one-kilometre time trial, as the world track cycling championships got underway in the English city of Manchester.

Merk, who was the only Swiss to compete in the championships, finished 14th in front of the Greek rider Agelidis Nikolaos. The French cyclist Arnaud Tournant held on to his world title.

Merk’s medal chances were not thought to be that great, but he and his coach were said to be looking for a place in the top 10.

Merk was left holding the Swiss flag alone at the championships following the withdrawals of the Olympic cyclists Bruno Risi, Kurt Betschart and Franco Marvulli.

A knee injury ended Risi’s hopes of defending the points race world championship title that he won in Berlin last year. Betschart was then forced to pull out, since he was due to be partnered by Risi in the Madison event.

Marvulli meanwhile was expected to compete in both the individual pursuit and the points race, but an illness prevented him from flying to England.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR