The 'grande dame' of mountain biking

She needs no introduction. The 'grande dame' of mountain biking and 2018 European Marathon Champion has won ten World and nine European Championships in cross-country and marathon and managed to secure the gold medal for her native Norway at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. To top it all off, Gunn-Rita is leading the all-time World Cup wins list with a total of 30 wins in a professional mountain bike racing career that spanned over more than 20 years. She overcame serious illness in 2007 to get back on the podium and even continued to win races in 2009, despite having given birth to her son that same year. 

In the following years, she continued to prove she had what it took to compete and win at the very highest levels of the sport, taking home Gold at the World Championship Marathon race in 2013 and showcasing the grit, focus and determination that have been the hallmarks of her racing career at a point others would have opted for a comfortable retirement. Gunn-Rita hung up the World Cup 'racing wheels' in 2018 and joined the illustrious group of MERIDA brand ambassadors, having ridden for the brand since 2002. Since her 'new appointment' as a brand ambassador, Gunn-Rita has been putting lots of effort during her travels into encouraging people to ride their bikes as a sport as well as a form of transport.

On top of that, she has taken an active role in promoting and developing cycling networks in her native Norway, encouraging children and beginners to enjoy the sport she has dedicated her working life to and campaigning to make cycling a safer and more pleasurable activity for all. Just like her former teammate José Hermida, Gunn-Rita can’t stay away from the race tape for too long and still gets involved in selected races all over the world, adding to her staple cross-country and marathon events with a renewed interest in ultra-endurance cycling - and e-mountain biking too.

Having Gunn-Rita on our team also gives us the chance to benefit from product knowledge and insights gathered in her 20+ years of racing at the very highest levels, supporting the MERIDA R&D team in their effort to take our products to the next level.  To recap her outstanding career, we created a tribute video that shows the highlights of her 20+ year-long active racing career as well we the other elements of her life of being a mother, wife, and cycling ambassador.