At the European cross country mountain bike championships in Dohnany, Slovakia, this weekend, Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå (Multivan Merida) reaped the rewards of her long and consistent build-up to form after a break to have a baby in 2009. She won her fifth European championship title with an advantage of 33 seconds over reigning world champion Maja Wloszczowska. Just as during the pre-baby days when she was at the top of the sport, she dominated the race from start to finish.
"This is a very emotional moment," said Dahle after winning. "A lot of people did not believe in my comeback, and today I had the opportunity to prove that I am definitely back in the world's top 10."
After a long period of illness and the birth of her son, the Norwegian has been working back to top form with full determination despite the setbacks along the way over several years.
"We have laid our focus on the second half of the season," she said. Her European Championship performance bodes well for the world championships coming up the first week of September in Champery, Switzerland.
Follow the adventures of Dahle Flesjå in her Cyclingnews blog.