It was absolutely wonderful to come home to my two wonderful boys after a full two weeks on Majorca together with the Merida team and press from all over the world (there was a total of 107 people attending). The boys at home were in good shape, and I can look back on a good period of training and action-packed days.
We got to test new bikes and new equipment, and received a lot of positive feedback on everything that was presented on Majorca too.
Now it remains to be seen whether the riders on Multivan Merida Biking Team can deliver on the world elite level for another season?
First weekend of racing
I left for Italy on Wednesday, where I'm meeting the rest of Team Merida and will take part in my first cross country race on Sunday [The Maremma Cup - ed.]. It's going to be exciting and is guaranteed to be extremely hard. I'm looking forward to it like a junior.
The following week I'll be staying by Lake Garda to train and prepare for a new off-road race in Brescia the weekend after.
New personal sponsor
I recently signed a contract with the Norwegian bank DnB NOR - most likely the final big sponsor contract of my career. We just had our first gathering of all the employees of the bank in this region.
Thus, we have filled up the quota of two personal sponsors on the Merida team shirt, and we're proud of it. DnB NOR and Comrod will, in other words, be with us no matter what country we compete in, throughout the season.
DnB NOR has big plans for our region in the west of Norway, and it'll be exciting to take part in their efforts through the next two years. Hopefully we can inspire more people to use their bicycles to and from work. We look forward to sharing all the experience we have within teamwork and goal oriented work over time, which has given us great success over the years.
The first gathering with the employees took place one evening this week and focused on good teamwork. Supporter jerseys were handed out, symbolizing new goals for the future, as a team. DnB NOR also wishes to focus on the parking and traffic problems that face us in this region. Companies need to make greater efforts to encourage their employees to ride their bikes to work.
Have a wonderful and exciting week of training.
Cyclist's greetings from Gunn-Rita
Multivan Merida Biking Team
[Translation: Crispen T.P. de Lange]