Gunn-Rita’s 30th World Cup win
With an outstanding career including ‘up to this point’ 29 World Cup wins, ten World Championships and nine European Championships (in Cross Country and Marathon) as well as the gold medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Gunn-Rita can look back at an unprecedented trophy cabinet, which would make most athletes sit back and retire.
Not so ‘the grand dame’ of mountain biking.
It has been on the cards for a while and improving results in this year’s UCI World Cups gave the impression that the big 30 could be just around the corner.
The World Cup course in Andorra is much loved by the riders but also holds some challenges due to the high altitude nature of the race.
Coming out of the last World Cup in Val di Sole with a strong 5th position Gunn Rita had the eyes set on the Andorra round as the place where she might be able to make history.
After she managed to break the record (up to that point held by Juliana Furtado) of most World Cup wins won by a female cross-country rider at the 2015 Lenzerheide round, her focus and aspiration has become to make it an even 30…which now is not just a dream, but reality.
HERE GUNN RITA’S OWN WORDS ON THE RACE AND HER FEELINGS ABOUT IT:
'I have worked long and hard for this 30th World Cup victory, and that makes it an even sweeter achievement. We are proud and happy...and of course, this gives a lot of motivation and confidence for the remaining part of the season.
I knew I was in good shape coming into this event, with lots of good training under my belt and a strong result at last weekend’s World Cup round in Val di Sole. I always performed well on the Vallnord course in Andorra. Altitude seems to suit me, even though I did not prepare in the high mountains before this event.
I had a fairly bad start but managed to get into quite a good position before the long technical downhill, keeping me out of trouble and in an ideal place to move even further up the rankings. I used my experience not to over pace too much in the demanding condition of altitude and high temperature. I did not stress and kept calm, even when Jolanda managed to temporarily gain some time on me in the 1st few laps.
We are so excited about finally have made the 30 and I have dedicated this victory especially to MERIDA Norway that is celebrating their 30th anniversary this year. But I would also like to send out a big THANK YOU to MERIDA International for still believe in me.
It was an extremely hard race, but the crowd in Andorra was amazing and pushed me hard.
I have a great team around me, great support from my coach and husband as always and I still love what I do.'
A superb race and a fantastic achievement, after all these years at the top of the mountain bike sport –congratulations!!
Gunn-Rita rode her trusted BIG.NINE TEAM in the bright red colour (relating to the Norwegian team colours) specced with Sram drivetrain and brakes, Maxxis tyres, RockShox suspension forks and her – always present – KS dropper post.
For more details on the BIG.NINE TEAM and the entire BiG.NINE range, please click here.
Images supplied by EGO-Promotion