Multiple world mountain bike champion Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå has revealed she is three months pregnant.
The Norwegian racer and her husband Kenneth Flesjå said the news was confirmed during a visit to their doctor two weeks ago.
Gunn-Rita, 35, who last month extended her sponsorship deal with Merida for four years, said in a statement: “I hereby wish to inform the press and all my fans that we are becoming parents in April 2009.
“Considering the fact that I’m a good three months pregnant, I’m in pretty good and lively shape. We’ve started up with our winter training program again and hope to get in some good exercise in the period until Christmas, naturally adjusting intensity according to how I feel and my growing tummy.
“We will be making good use of the expertise and insight of the Norwegian Olympic Federation into training for pregnant elite athletes. With a normal pregnancy and birth, I would hope to be back on my bike and in full training again some time in May.”
Gunn-Rita said she hoped to take part in the Gunn-Rita Marathon in north Italy on 28 June. She added: “The European Championships and World Championships are right at the end of the season, in August/September, and we naturally aim to take part in these events.
“We’ve been promised lots of help and support from family, brothers and sisters with babysitting as I continue as a professional cyclist. Kenneth will naturally become more of a father than a training partner in coming years.
“We feel very privileged and lucky at the prospect of becoming parents, and we believe this will give us an extra inspiration in our goal of a medal at the London Olympics in 2012. Exciting times lie ahead of us, and we’re very happy.”