The Sunshine Cup at Nals in Italy was a tough experience on a demanding course, including lots of climbing and tough descents. Even though I'm not feeling totally on top of things physically, I still felt strong and managed to achieve my goals for the day very well. Many of the best riders were not present at the start, but it was still a great experience for me to win the race.
We're back in our little apartment in Heubach-Lautern which is to be our base for these two weeks. The actual race in Nals had a great atmosphere, was well organized and was a very demanding and exciting track. The race time of only one hour and fifteen minutes was possibly a little short, but still ok because of all the tough climbing which requires many more days of rest afterwards than a flatter course.
We drove to Nals in our great Multivan car last Friday around lunch time together with our mechanic Ralf, and it took just under five hours. We got to do a couple of rounds on the race track on Saturday morning, and had an otherwise relaxing afternoon with massage and a bit of time for the press and talking with other cyclists. It's a true pleasure to be invited to take part in races in Italy like the Sunshine Cup, where the organization can offer very exciting race tracks, a good setting and very good prizes.
The last week has been a tough one in terms of training. We've had to adjust it slightly so my legs wouldn't get too worn out, and it worked - the race was a positive experience, with a feeling of strength in my body. I also managed to work on some areas for improvement that Kenneth and I had agreed upon before the race.
It's a great feeling to feel strong while racing despite fatigue in my legs and muscles because of the tough training schedule. Then it's extra nice to see that I can still improve on small details throughout a race like the one at Nals.
Read the entire Gunn-Rita Dahle-Flesjaa diary here.