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Gunn-Rita: An exciting start to the season

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The Grand Dames of MTB - Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Norway) and Sabine Spitz (Germany)

The Grand Dames of MTB - Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Norway) and Sabine Spitz (Germany) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Multivan Merida) on the podium

Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjaa (Multivan Merida) on the podium (Image credit: Multivan Merida Mountain Bike Team)
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Elite women's podium at the Meribel World Cup

Elite women's podium at the Meribel World Cup (Image credit: Armin Küstenbrück/Marius Maasewerd)

The cycling season of 2015 is about to start. Where did the cold and dark winter months go? I’m starting my season in Cyprus once again, just like last year. Starting in this way last year was very advantageous. I’m excited and a little nervous, but most of all I’m full of anticipation at starting racing again.

These last weeks back home after training camp on the Canary Islands in January have been action-packed and interesting. I had just a few days at home in Sandnes (Norway) after my stay in the sun. The weather was cold and horrid, as is usually the case at this time of year, but good clothing makes all the difference in those conditions.

After that, we had sunny days again in Majorca, together with the Multivan Merida Biking Team, at which time we took official team photos and individual portraits for the season of 2015. There was no press camp this year, unfortunately, but an invitation to exciting things will be issued later on this summer.

February is usually the most unstable and cold month of the year on Majorca. Once again, we were lucky with the four days we had set aside for photographing. The weather gods had provided both snow and rain during the weeks before we arrived, but we were served sunny and blue skies from day one. We were still somewhat cold with goose bumps though, as the temperatures were around 8-10 degrees Centigrade – a tad chilly for being photographed in both short and long kit.

The weeks of training at home in Norway have been great, with lots of help from my coach and husband, Kenneth, as usual. Likeminded friends have also spent time with us and made our days of training exciting and worthwhile. Being matched and pressed during training has been very important for my successes through the last years, and this winter has been no exception.

So now, four days of stage racing await me in Cyprus, and I’m really looking forward to it. It will be my first race of the season, and I’m not really expecting much in the way of top results – more a question of testing out my strengths and weaknesses in relation to what I’ve been working on this winter.

For the women, the start will be full of strong riders, and that naturally makes me happy. Many of the strongest girls from last season will be taking part. In other words: full power from the word go, which to me is both motivating and beneficial.

Last year both the tracks and the organizing of the race was very good and I expect they will meet the same high standards again this year. In other words, I can look forward to challenging single-track, tough and long climbs, strong competition, a lot of sun, and friendly people along the tracks. You can read more about what we’re going to be going through at

Last year I went here with Multivan Merida Biking Team and we had two fantastic weeks together on Cyprus. This year the team, and the men on the team, have decided to ride Andalucía Bike Race in Spain. I am lucky to be part of the Norwegian national cycling team this time, and I’m looking very much forward to that.

The first stage starts on Thursday afternoon. An exciting prologue awaits us in Lefkara town where I am now living in an apartment with the rest of the Norwegian group. You can follow us on:

I hope and believe that you have had a good winter of training, like me! It is now time to bring out your bike again and set yourself new goals for the summer of 2015. I wish you lots of good luck with the new season. I hope to one day meet you somewhere together with your bike.

Greetings from Gunn-Rita

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