Wolter and Holmes head to OPA Cup Finals in Italy


Plus additional FIS race brings opportunity to fine-tune pursuit racing

SVSEF XC Gold Team Member Peter Wolter and Coach Peter Holmes are heading to Italy for the OPA Cup Finals. 

Peter Wolter has been selected to compete for the U.S. Ski Team in the OPA Cup Finals in Dobbiaco/Toblach, Italy, March 17-19. Wolter, who recently traveled to Les Rousses, France for his first World Cup, is thrilled to have the opportunity to again represent Team USA in this race series.  

“I’m excited to be racing the OPA Finals in Italy because it’s a pretty big step up from SuperTour level racing but not as giant of a leap as the World Cup,” said Wolter. “It provides an opportunity to take it up a notch but not get totally thrown into the deep end.”

SVSEF Assistant Comp Team Coach, Peter Holmes, will be joining the U.S. coaching staff for the trip. Holmes, who retired as a competitor from the SVSEF XC Gold Team last winter, has seamlessly moved into the coaching realm. Holmes said he is “really excited to go to Toblach and work with Peter and the other U.S. athletes who will be there. I have only been on trips with the U.S. Ski Team as an athlete, so it will be great to see what it’s like on the other side.” 

The U.S. contingent, Wolter and Holmes included, will first head to Falcade, Italy for a few FIS tune up races March 11-12. Events include a 10km individual start classic on Saturday and a 15km freestyle pursuit on Sunday. 

The OPA Cup Finals begin Friday, March 17 with a freestyle sprint. “With all the Central European countries competing, it’s a great stepping stone back to the World Cup,” said SVSEF XC Gold Team Coach, Chris Mallory.  

March 18-19 will include a 10km individual start freestyle on Saturday and 15km classic pursuit on Sunday. Each athlete’s start time for Sunday’s classic pursuit race is determined by their time back from Saturday’s winner. For example, if second place finished 20 seconds behind the winner on Saturday, they will start Sunday’s race 20 seconds behind and so on. Then whoever crosses the line first, wins the pursuit race. “Classic distance is one of Peter’s strengths, so look for him to move up in the results on Sunday,” said Becky Woods, SVSEF Cross Country Program Director.

As Wolter thinks ahead to the races, he knows “it will be great to have Holmes there as a wax tech and coach to help make the situation feel more normal, which is always important for the mental game when you step it up to the next level.”

“And stepping up to the next level is what both Peter Wolter and Peter Holmes are doing,” said Woods. “We can’t wait to see how this all plays out!”  

Falcade, Italy FIS Races, March 11-12 / Check in daily for start lists, live timing and results here.

Dobbiaco/Toblach, Italy OPA Cup Finals, March 17-19 / Check in daily for start lists, live timing and results here.

Photo of Peter Wolter (bib #49) at 2023 Les Rousses World Cup. Photo credit: NordicFocus