Federica Venturelli explained her decision to take a break after the road season to concentrate on the demanding winter ahead, which requires balancing both road and track preparations. This choice meant that her participation in cyclo-cross would be reduced, not abandoned, but the racing calendar and the number of races would be scaled back to manage her efforts better.
The decision was not taken lightly, as Venturelli confessed her affinity for cyclocross, the discipline she finds the most enjoyable and which has allowed her to set short-term objectives even during winter, typically a period reserved solely for preparatory work. The recognition that it’s impossible to maintain the same level of multi-disciplinary participation as in previous years was the catalyst for this change.
Venturelli also mentioned the challenges of managing external expectations. She emphasised the importance of acknowledging her limits, expressing that she is not a machine and must consider her human side when making decisions. Currently enrolled at university, she is also tackling a new kind of commitment, striving for a balance between academics and athletics. Since starting lessons in mid-October, she is now preparing for her initial exams come January and February.
Describing herself as organised and adept at time management, Venturelli gave insight into her outlook on life. The mental strength to continue striving for excellence, even when fatigued, is central to her approach. She has never considered abandoning her studies to focus solely on her athletic career, despite the potential cost to her social life, believing the results are worth the sacrifice.
As Venturelli transitions to under-23 competitions, racing against elite athletes, she recognises the need for a distinct approach to training, which involves enhancing her endurance and strength. The progression to a higher tier means starting her preparations earlier in the year, a visible shift from the previous year when she could dedicate time to cyclo-cross before shifting to road training at the end of February. Still, in the nascent stages of her road training, she awaits specific instructions from her new team but she anticipates being fully briefed soon.