2018 OPA Cup Trip US Athletes Blog #1


2018 OPA Cup, fresh off the Olympics, Rosie Frankowski wins the first two OPA Cup Races!

2018 Opa Cup Blog 

by Adam Marin and Ben Lustgarten

After the American Birkebeiner, most of the 2018 US OPA Cup Team flew into Zurich, Switzerland and made the four and a half hour drive to the beautiful mountain village of Cogne, Italy for the first weekend of OPA Cup racing. At the village, the domestic ski racers convened with the athletes coming from the Olympics in South Korea.

An easy distance ski took us up the valley past the small village of Valnontey.

When the sun came out, it made the mountain peaks pop. Photo: Eric Packer.

Breathtaking views greeted us even on our easy afternoon jogs.

A few days after arriving, the competition began with 10 and 15k individual classic races on Saturday. Rosie Frankowski crushed the field winning by over 28 seconds! Additionally, Hannah Halvorson placed 5th for juniors and Julia Kern and Liz Guiney placed 9th and 10th. On the men’s side, Adam Martin led the US contingent placing 14th and Ben rounded out the top 20 with a 19th place. On Sunday, racing continued with pursuit start skate races. Rosie made a commanding statement by winning both the pursuit and time-of-day. Other top results include Hannah’s 5th in the junior pursuit, Julia’s 10th in the senior pursuit, Jack Hegman’s 6th fastest time-of-day, and Rogan Brown’s 16th fastest time-of-day. Overall it was a very successful weekend and shows that the US is growing stronger and more competitive in European races.

A gorgeous sunrise to start off the pursuit races!

A good-looking American posing by the wax cabins.

Frankowski in her rightful place.

The boys soaking up the sun after their race.

On Monday after the races, we packed up and drove to the next venue: La Féclaz, France. There were some spectacular views before and after the tunnel through Mont Blanc! Near the end of the drive we were able to stop briefly in the home of Salomon: Annecy, France. In our brief stop we made the most of it by checking out the lakefront, walking along a beautiful canal lined with rowboats, and wandering through parts of the old-town in search of a restaurant for lunch.

On the road again, to France this time.

A view of the street in Annecy.

Eric’s “cheese mountain” burger. Photo from Eric Packer.

This trip is many of the racers’ first OPA Cup and it proved to be a very valuable experience. The OPA Cup scene feels like a mild version of the World Cup, which prepares these aspiring athletes for the next level in this sport. We are all very thankful for NNF to be able to help support these trips. The generous support of the NNF makes a noticeable impact and can be seen as we improve year after year on the OPA Cup, World Cup, and Olympics!

-Adam and Ben L




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