Tools and tricks of the pro mechanics
A close-up look at the Australian's purpose-built ride
Australian's 2015 Tinkoff-Saxo team bike
Winner of the 2015 Tour Down Under
Great start to the season
Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Multivan Merida) on the podium
Finishing number 2 in the first World Cup race of the season is A-OK by my standards. Two victories in two national cup races is also more than acceptable. We are now headed for the most exciting and demanding part of the season. My rivals are in top shape and they're all present.
My latest race was a cold and wet experience in the first round of the Bundesliga in Saalhausen, Germany. It ended up being a fight between me and Sabine [Spitz], Adelheid [Morath] and Alexandra [Engen]. In the end, I won the battle, but only barely in front of my German rivals.
The preceding weekend, I raced in Haiming, Austria, and pulled off the first victory of the season. It was a struggle too, because I had just emerged from an intense period of training back home, and my body didn't feel 100 percent good. It was fantastic to win again, and it provided me with lots of self confidence for the season. It also warms an "aging" lady's heart to see some other Norwegians on the podium, as was the case in Haiming. Both the U23 men, Sondre and Edwart, had a great race, as did Ola in the senior class.
I chose to skip World Cup round 2, which was held in Cairns, Australia, as it would have meant too long away from my son Bjørnar. Balance and harmony are important in everyday life if one hopes to make an impact at the very top of this sport. Every day is equally important, one has to work hard and remain focused and prioritize correctly from morning 'til night. This is impossible to achieve if one is full of longing and loneliness. Moreover, I really struggle to adapt to new time zones. Possibly something to do with age! But I have to take this fact seriously when I lay our plan for the season.
Nove Mesto World Cup coming up
I will be taking part in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic, where the next World Cup race will be held this weekend. After a race-free weekend, I'll be ready to race the World Cup race track here on Sunday. I'm driving to the airport in Prague tomorrow to fetch the rest of the family, and then we'll be away from home right until the beginning of June.
I did a few laps of the course here yesterday. Dry and nice, and everything is doable under the present conditions. The rock garden we had to traverse last year has settled a bit more now, and the worst rocks have actually been removed. I was one of those who chose the B-line last year when we raced here, but now I'm able to do this rocky patch without any problems. But I might have to reconsider if we get a lot of rain and mud on the rocks!
Apart from that, I don't have much news. I'm having a rest day here and am sitting on my bed, typing away on my PC. I've had an hour of stretching before breakfast today. I'll do a short hour of basic training around lunchtime. Apart from that, I'll be reading and writing more as the day proceeds. I reckon that the other riders and teams will turn on Monday and onwards, which will make things livelier here at the hotel again.
I wish you all an active weekend with your bicycles, friends and family. Remember that you can involve your bicycle in many exciting activities if you make an effort and think actively.
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