What’s next for Kateřina Nash?
Never think of Kateřina Nash as a monosport athlete. The Czech star is a two-time Winter Olympian in cross-country skiing and also competed in the Summer Games in cross-country mountain biking. Cyclocross is the third tooth in its triple athletic crown.
And while the multidisciplinary endurance runner who has a cyclocross world championship bronze medal in her trophy case ends her professional cross country career after this season, we won’t see Nash disappear from the podium altogether.
Like many other retired runners, Nash is moving towards gravel racing. This summer, the 43-year-old won the 2021 Belgian Waffle Ride in San Diego.
First, she will compete in another world cross country championship, in Fayetteville, Arkansas, in January 2022.
VeloNews: How did your training go in 2020 and 2021?
Katerina nash: I actually increased the kilometers but I think it is due to the change of orientation of the race. I sort of switch to longer endurance, you know, and also with the COVID lockdown, I haven’t traveled anywhere and I haven’t run. I have certainly ridden a lot more than I had ever done in the last year and a half, but I think it was just missing the training structure and especially the travel.
Suddenly you hit the road again and you just don’t have the time to devote those constant hours. As for the intensity: I haven’t done it for a very long time. I don’t really know if all of this intensity is benefiting me honestly. I just feel like I’m not recovering so I really have to save it for the races. I guess the only intensity is Strava. It’s pretty good because you can challenge yourself, rather than going through specific intervals like I’ve done my entire career.
VN: So, are you looking for QOM Strava when you’ve just been driving?
KN: I made some after not really being a Strava user. It was fun and I love group walks, but there was also very little of it last year.
VN: How many more seasons do you see yourself running?
KN: Clif Team ends, unfortunately, after 20 years. I’ve been building my own thing for probably a few years, but it will be more gravel, mountain bike stage races, which mature athletes do.
I don’t want to focus on one thing. I really like the great diversity. I don’t want to be just a gravel rider or just a mountain biker. I think you have to be pretty open-minded, to make a living and work with sponsors these days.
I like gravel. It’s pretty fun to mix it up, but I don’t want to be all gravel. I really love mountain biking, and I love a lot about mountain biking for stage races, it’s just fun! So hopefully more races come back next summer, you know? It was so limited this year.
Now I did better with the endurance events – I won the Belgian Waffle Ride this summer. I don’t necessarily like long distances, but I know I can handle it, and that’s good. So I’ll do a little bit of everything.
VN: Are you going to be competing in any of the World Cups or other racing series in Europe this season?
KN: I would love to visit my family in Europe and take part in a few more races, but I have a schedule right now so we’ll see.
VN: Are you planning to participate in the world championships?
KN: I knew the worlds were coming back to the United States and I made my debut in the United States, so when it comes to cyclocross, I have to be a part of it. I want to do this for several reasons. That’s the goal, but the exit is not completely crossed, it is no longer for me.
VN: What do you think of your podium at the Trek CX Cup?
KN: I felt pretty good, it was a good fight, I had to ride a bunch too. And so it was good to have a workout cause I have zero [UCI] points so I’ll start last [at the UCI World Cup]. So if I can jump on the “Jolanda [Neff] train “it’s going to be good.
I was really excited. I fought hard enough to be on this podium. I ran with Yolanda for a long time, and just having a chance to be on the podium with her, I definitely pushed.
VN: Did you celebrate?
KN: I’m not like a big celebrant. As for the drink, I am stable: I just have a glass of wine most evenings.
VN: Red or white?
KN: Oh, I drink both, it depends on the season. Probably not both on the same evening; summer whiter and winter redder. If I had to pick one thing to drink for the rest of my life, it would probably be Sonoma County Zinfandel. You can’t complain about California wine!
VN: Did you mention that you were going to create your own team?
KN: It’s just a privateer thing as an individual athlete. I haven’t really sorted it out, but I’ll try to carry on [with sponsors]. So a little Clif Bar and probably specialized.