Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå, José Antonio Hermida and Toni Ferreiro to extend contract with MERIDA
MERIDA is excited to announce that Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå, José Antonio Hermida and Toni Ferreiro have extended their contracts with MERIDA for the 2021 and 2022 season carrying on their involvement with the brand as brand ambassadors and product testers. The 2020 season has been a challenging time for our three riders due to races, bike festival and exhibitions being cancelled, but their strong focus on more local or regional activities and their increased activity on various social media and website platforms make them an integral part of the MERIDA story.
With a widening of the MERIDA range and strong focuses on e-bikes, adventure and endurance road machines as well as full-suspension bikes, Gunn-Rita, José and Toni will have their work cut out for the upcoming two seasons.
About our three riders:
Since her departure from professional racing, living mountain bike legend and former multiple World Champion and World Cup winner Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå has been strongly involved in promoting cycling in her native Norway. She has been using her SILEX and SCULTURA ENDURANCE on extended training rides to get in shape for the 2021 ‘long distance’ season. She has also wholeheartedly embraced e-bikes and has made her eONE-SIXTY a regular companion on trail development work as well as on general exploration of the wider region around her home town. ‘I am very excited to keep working with MERIDA. I have been part of the MERIDA family for a long time and love the way they operate. The products go from strength to strength, and I am very proud to share my experiences, views and ideas with the R&D and marketing team. A strong focus in my 2021 racing calendar will be the 560 km long Trondheim – Oslo race which we will be tackling on the new SCULTURA ENDURANCE. The event requires lots of preparations, and we have a long list of video features planned around the event. I can’t wait to get stuck in’, comments Gunn-Rita.
In line with his female team partner, three times World Champion (Junior, U23 and Elite), former World Cup winner and always joking, multi-cycling talent José Antonio Hermida has made great use of his time during the strict lockdown in Spain. Starting with a hugely popular ‘stay at home’ interview series, José managed to keep up his rigorous training regime and used it to inspire other riders to stay on top of their game when outside training was restricted.
José also had a strong involvement in the development of the new NINETY-SIX as well as the Shimano EP8 motor upgraded eONE-SIXTY and eONE-FORTY projects. One of his riding highlights was his well-documented ‘Pyrenees to the Sea’ non-stop ride onboard his beloved SILEX. He is only too keen to explore that style of riding and exploring further in months to come. José comments about his time with the MERIDA family: ‘I have never expected to find a brand and the people around it which are as supportive as MERIDA. Most of my major achievements have been onboard a MERIDA bike, and it is great to know that I will carry on promoting the name while closely working with the designers and engineers to take the brand to the next level. In particular, the new NINETY-SIX has been a project I enjoyed immensely, and I am super proud of the outcome. And we are fully immersed in some exciting 2022 projects which you will find out in due course’.
Finally, former Spanish DH and Enduro Championship as well as EWS and EWS-E racer Toni Ferreiro is also staying with MERIDA. While racing was a novelty in 2020, the early round of the World E-BIKE Series was a real highlight of the year and has given Toni extra motivation to train hard throughout 2020 and get himself into the perfect shape for whatever lies ahead. While already a regular YouTube contributor, Toni has used the lockdown to increase his presence on his channel and other social media networks and has given endless riders motivation and inspiration for when restrictions eased in the summer months. While becoming more and more at home on his trusted eONE-SIXTY, the new ‘trail-ready’ NINETY-SIX has also seen extensive use throughout the late summer months. As the enduro and gravity specialist among the MERIDA athletes, Toni has also spent a lot of time with our R&D team working on upcoming full-suspension projects. ‘Since I joined the MERIDA family a few years ago, the brand has gone from strength to strength. While I was lucky to jump straight onto the test and ward winning ‘original’ eONE-SIXTY when I first started it was super exciting to be involved in the current eONE-SIXTY project and see what is going on with future projects. I can’t wait to get the 2021 season started and be part of the exciting MY22 launch plans.’ Toni Ferreiro MERIDA brand ambassador and product tester.
Andreas Rottler, Director of Sport Marketing, summarises, ‘MERIDA is a brand and company that is based on long-standing relationships and loyalty. It was an easy decision to extend the working relationships with our three key athletes, and we are looking forward to a hopefully less restrictive 2021 season. While our athletes and we have learned a lot in the last 12 months how to deal with this unusual situation, we are super keen to see them ‘out in the wild’ at key events, races ad exhibitions as well as have more flexibility and freedom at our videos shoots and content creations. On half of MERIDA as well as our riders we wish everybody a successful riding season, stay healthy, take care and make sure that you follow the exercise and travel restrictions that are in place in your country.’