First Training Day: It’s Cycling Season

As April quickly turned to May, holidays are mostly ending and time for the athletes to start reawakening those rested muscle groups, kicking off a new training season season. Although no one completely shuts down on physical activity, the last six weeks have been a complete respite from formal training and for sure, rifles have been collecting dust in some dark closet. With group camps weeks away, the opening salvo of training focused on two wheels because May is the beginning of “cycling season.

Early Start in Finland

Finland’s Otto Invenius got the ball rolling a bit earlier than many, heading out on his bike on April 28 for a 50 km ride, commenting on Instagram, “The training season has (un)officially started.”

“Nice to be on the bike”

Classifying his first day of training as a 9 out of 10, the Finn who claimed his first World Cup podium in the Oslo Single Mixed Relay added, “It was nice to be on bike again; the sun was shining. Only minus is that my butt was hurting like hell from sitting on the saddle! That’s also probably the hardest part of the first day of training. The muscles are not used to summer training so everything hurts! Still, I’m enjoying every bit of it!

Mountain Biking for Anna

Austrian Anna Gandler who closed her season with a personal best Canmore Mass Start 5th place and three consecutive Flower Ceremonies opened cycling season on her mountain bike, commenting, “Preparation 2024/25; let’s go…” After a three-week holiday that included beach time and snorkeling, Gandler’s debut ride weaved through the very green Austrian countryside. “I did 31 km (2 hours) today on the MTB. The best thing about spring cycling is to go out with shorts without being cold and do a sport other than cross-country skiing!”

Sore Muscles Everywhere

The long holiday break came at a price, grading her graded her first day out as only a 5, because, “I now have sore muscles everywhere. The beginning of every year is hard.”

Two hours in the French Countryside

Over in Villard de Lans, Emilien Jacquelin was out on the road, parking his bike in front of a patisserie near his home at the end of his day in the French countryside with the comment, “Getting back to the good habits!”

Jacquelin revealed his love of cycling in 2020 when he won his first IBU Pursuit World Championship, “I tried to use all the things I learned in cycling and it paid off.” His 2024 cycling premiere was a less intense than his Antholz victory. “My first ride at home was 55 km, 2 hours. It was an easy ride because it doesn’t cost a lot of energy; it’s just fun.”

First Ride Smile

While Jacquelin biked through the green, snow-free countryside near his home, 200 kms north teammate Sophie Chauveau chronicled her first ride of the new season. Chauveau who claimed her first individual World Cup podium and won her first IBU WCH medal, Women’s Relay Gold last season was all smiles passing through the forest on a route skirting the snow-capped Col de Colombiere.

“Here we go again”

With hours to go before May 1, five-time IBU World Cup total Score titlist Johannes Thingnes Boe threw his hat in the training ring, with a humorous Instagram post of new ski boots delivered, “New Fischer boots means vacation is over. Tomorrow here we go again…”

Now it’s only 213 days until the first competition of the 2024/25 BMW IBU World Cup season opener in Kontiolahti!

Photos: IBU/Otto Invenius, Anna Gandler, Emilien Jacquelin, Sophie Chauveau, JT Boe Instagram

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