This is Julia checking in from France! I am with Ben on the OPA Cup Trip and we just wrapped up our first weekend of racing at an OPA Cup in Italy. The first day of racing was a 10km classic for the women and a 15km classic for the men. Although the course had no steep hills, the long gradual climbs in combination with mild altitude made the course challenging. I was excited to put down a strong result the first day, placing 9th overall, putting me in a good place for the skate pursuit the second day. On the second day, I started in a group of 3 and I charged out of the start in hopes of reeling people in during the 15km skate race.
One thing I have learned from racing in Europe all winter is that you have to go out fast if you want to compete with the best, so that is something I have been trying to do in my races…even if it means I blow up a bit. I ended up finishing 10th overall. While Ben didn’t have the race he hoped on Saturday, he put down a strong race in the pursuit, reeling people in one by one.
The incredible snow, scenic skiing, delicious food, and great company have spoiled us on our trip so far. The whole team kicked off the weekend with really strong results and we are looking to carry that momentum forward with us.
Yesterday, we departed Italy and headed for La Feclaz, France. On our way, we made a stop in Annecy, a beautiful city that we got to explore during our lunch stop. We are now in France for a one week for a training block and French Cup race on Sunday before we continue on to Spain for OPA Cup Finals! I am looking forward to exploring two new countries I have never been to before.