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First win on 29er

By:
Gunn Rita Dahle Flesjå
Published:
April 24, 2012, 18:40 BST,
Updated:
April 24, 2012, 19:49 BST
Race:
Bundesliga - Mountainbike Frühjahrsklassiker

Norwegian decides on big wheels for Olympics

Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå (Multivan Merida) at the start

Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå (Multivan Merida) at the start

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It's still fantastic winning a race. My victory in Münsingen gives me affirmation that I am headed in the right direction. In London at the Olympic Games, I'll be riding the Merida Big Nine.

I have many good memories from Münsingen from previous visits, and my victory on Sunday was no exception. I've won this spring-time classic in the Bundesliga five times now, but the victory yesterday was extra special since it was my first win on the Merida Big Nine. In addition, Merida took a double victory, as my teammate, Rudi (Van Houts), won the men's class.

The past week has been especially action-packed in many different ways. The World Cup race in Houffalize, Belgium last Sunday, where I sprinted in to an eighth place, was more than acceptable. After one and a half laps, I was fighting for a third place and felt physically strong, but a puncture put an end to the fight for a place amongst the three best.

Testing the Olympic course

On Monday we - Kenneth, Steffen Skjærgård, Ralf Tiede and I - flew to London where we were met by Paul from Merida UK at Heathrow and guided straight to the Olympic MTB race track at Hadleigh Farm. An invitation for two days of training on the Olympic race track reached us in February, and it was like a huge bonus for Kenneth and me as I didn't get to take part in the Olympic test event last summer.

The first lap of the race course on Monday morning was a bit of a shock for both of us. There were these hand-made rock gardens that seemed excessively rough at first, but which with time became more manageable and very fun to ride. In London, the key words will be power and speed, and that suits me fine. I'll be riding the Merida Big Nine at the Olympics and will therefore also be doing all the races in 2012 on this bike, from now on.

After two days in London, we had Wednesday at home again for washing clothes and repacking our suitcases. Early on Thursday morning we left again, this time with Bjørnar and my father as very good company, heading for Germany. Now we're living in the apartment we always use here in Lautern, just outside Heubach, where next Bundesliga race will be held this coming weekend.

Bjørnar enjoyed shouting out encouragement to his mother at the race yesterday, despite the cold and awful weather. He was ecstatic after I crossed the finish line and talked non-stop in the car on the way back to our apartment. He’s looking very much forward to another race this weekend, and so am I.

Exercise well, and think along the lines of variation and exciting challenges in your physical activities. It'll provide you with new experiences and is a great investment in your own health, today and in the future.

Cyclist's greetings from Gunn-Rita
Multivan Merida Biking Team
www.gunnrita.com
[Translation: Crispen T.P. de Lange]

Author
Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå diary

Norwegian cross country mountain bike racer Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå is a favorite on the international mountain bike circuit.  For years, she has delighted loyal fans as she raced her heart out in cross country and marathon events. She made an impressive comeback in 2008 after a season of illness. In 2008, she won the Madrid, Spain, round of the UCI World Cup and the UCI Marathon World Championships and finished 12th in the World Cup final standings. Dahle Flesjå then took on the challenge of motherhood in 2009 when she gave birth to her first child in the spring. With the support of her husband Kenneth Flesjå and her family, she returned to competition within a few months after becoming a mother. Dahle Flesjå was World Champion in 2002, 2004, 2005, and 2006, plus Olympic champion in 2004. In 2003 to 2006, she dominated the sport, winning the World Cup overall. Follow her faithfully recounted exploits on Cyclingnews as she balances the roles of mother and elite racer. Or, for more Gunn-Rita, see her personal website: www.gunnrita.com

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