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Don’t ever peg Kateřina Nash as a single-sport athlete. The Czech star is a two-time winter Olympian in cross-country skiing and also raced in the Summer Games in cross-country mountain biking. Cyclocross is the third tine on her triple crown of athletics.
And while the multi-disciplinary endurance racer who has a bronze medal from cyclocross worlds in her trophy case is winding down her pro ‘cross career after this season, we won’t see Nash disappear from the podium altogether.
Like many other retired riders, Nash is trending toward gravel privateering. This summer, the 43-year-old won the 2021 Belgian Waffle Ride in San Diego.
First, she’ll take on one more ‘cross world championships, in Fayetteville, Arkansas, in January 2022.
VeloNews: What’s your training been like in 2020 and 2021?
Katerina Nash: I actually increased miles but I think that’s been due to change of race focus. I’m kind of shifting to the longer endurance, you know, and also with COVID lockdown I didn’t travel anywhere and I didn’t race. I’ve definitely ridden a lot more the last year-and-a-half than I ever had, but I think it was just lacking the training structure and especially traveling.
Suddenly, you get back on the road, and you just don’t have time to put in those consistent hours. As far as intensity: I haven’t done any in a really long time. I don’t really know if all that intensity is beneficial for me honestly. I just feel like I don’t recover, so I just really have to save it up for races. I guess the only intensity is Strava. It’s pretty good because you can challenge yourself, versus going through specific intervals like I’ve done my whole career.
VN: So are you looking for Strava QOMs when you’re just out riding?
KN: I’ve done a little bit of that after not really being a Strava user. That’s been fun, and I love group rides, but there was also very little of that last year.
VN: How many more seasons do you see yourself racing?
KN: Clif Team is ending, unfortunately, after 20 years. I’m kind of putting my own thing together for probably for a couple of years, but it will be more gravel, mountain bike stage racing, the stuff that mature athletes do.
I don’t want to focus on one thing. I really like the broad diversity. I don’t want to be just a gravel racer 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 the gravel. It’s pretty fun to mix it up, but I just don’t want to be only gravel. I really like mountain biking, and I like a lot of stage race mountain biking stuff is just fun! So, hopefully, more races will come back next summer, you know? It was so pretty limited this year.
Now I’ve done better with the endurance events — I won the Belgian Waffle Ride this summer. I don’t necessarily enjoy the long distances, but I know I can tackle it, and that’s good. So I’ll do a little bit of everything.
VN: Are you going to do any of the World Cups or other race series in Europe this season?
KN: I would like to visit my family back in Europe and jump into a couple more races but I have a schedule right now, so we’ll see.
VN: Are you planning to race in the world championships?
KN: I knew worlds was coming back to the U.S. and I got my start in the U.S., so as far as cyclocross—I gotta be part of it. I wanna do that for multiple reasons. So that’s, that’s the goal but the lead out to it is not full cross isn’t for me anymore.
VN: How did you feel about your podium at the Trek CX Cup?
KN: I felt pretty good, it was a good fight, I had to move up a bunch as well. And so that was good to get one practice because I have zero [UCI] points so I’ll be starting dead last [at the UCI World Cup]. So, if I can jump on the “Jolanda [Neff] train“ it will be good.
I was really excited. I kind of fought pretty hard to be on that podium. I raced with Yolanda for a long time, and just having a chance to be on the podium with her — I definitely pushed it.
VN: Did you celebrate?
KN: I’m not like a big celebrator. As far as drinking, I’m steady: I just have a glass of wine most nights.
VN: Red or white?
KN: Oh, I drink both — it depends on the season. Probably not both on the same night; summer more white, and winter more red. 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: You mentioned that you’re going to start your own team?
KN: It’s just kind of a privateer thing as an individual athlete. I don’t really have quite things sorted out, but I’ll try to continue [with sponsors]. So, a little bit of a Clif Bar and probably Specialized.