Pro mountain biker Katerina Nash discusses cycling career and more
Spoke n' Word
It’s no secret that the Truckee-Tahoe area is a breeding ground for world-class athletes. I recently had a chance to catch up with one of Truckee’s finest and#8212; professional cyclist Katerina Nash of the Luna Women’s Mountain Bike Team.
As we spoke, Katerina was catching a flight to Europe to attend two World Cup mountain bike races, one in her native country, Czech Republic, and the second in Italy. She will then compete in Mountain Bike World Championships in Switzerland.
Q: How has your season been going so far?
A: and#8220;It’s been a somewhat quiet season so far, with some bad luck and mechanicals, early on, but I’m going well now and shooting for some top-five finishes in the coming races.and#8221;
Q: How does racing in Europe on the World Cup circuit differ from racing in the U.S.?
A: and#8220;The laps are shorter in Europe. We typically do five laps in a World Cup race. This makes it more spectator friendly, and more fun for the riders as the venue is packed with fans cheering for their favorite rider.and#8221;
Q: What result(s) are you most proud of this season?
A: and#8220;I won a bronze medal in Cyclocross Worlds early this year. Marianne Vos, Katie Compton and I rode away from the rest of the field. In the end, Vos surged for the win and#8212; it was like she had another gear and#8212; and Katie and I fought it out for second and third. It felt great to ride with the best cyclocross athletes in the world.
and#8220;Winning the Nevada City Classic was also a highlight. I love doing local races. At Nevada City, I was going for the primes (prizes given mid-race as the riders lap the course), and kept getting beat by more experienced road racers. With four laps to go I decided it would be best for me to try to get away on the hill. I was able to ride away solo for the win by a margin of 1 minute, 20 seconds.and#8221;
Q: What are your long-term aspirations in cycling and in life?
A: and#8220;I want to keep riding as long as my grandmother. She’s 82, and still uses the bicycle as her primary mode of transportation. She is my inspiration. I want to continue to explore the world. I have a degree in marketing, but I’m not sure what to do with it yet (laughs). I want to live a good life, and influence people to live healthier and have more fun.and#8221;
Q: Why is Truckee a special place to live?
A: and#8220;I love the community feeling, the friends I’ve made over the years, the mountains and the weather. Most professional cyclists choose to live in warmer climates to train during the winter, but I prefer living in the mountains. I can ski in the morning, then head to the foothills, or Reno to train in the afternoon.and#8221;
Q: What do you like to do when you are not training for 15 hours per week?
A: and#8220;I love skiing of all kinds, spending time with my husband (Marcus Nash), hiking, camping, barbecue with friends. Our dogs, Lola and Rubi (named after local peaks Mt. Lola and Rubicon), join us on most of our adventures as they share our passion for the outdoors. Then they fall asleep on the couch!and#8221;
Q: What is the biggest challenge of being a professional cyclist?
A: and#8220;Having to say no to fun activities with friends when they don’t fit into my training regimen. It happens often, but I try to find a balance, mixing training on the bike with other fun lifestyle activities.and#8221;
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring female cyclists?
A: and#8220;Find a good, supportive group to ride with. Cycling is a social sport, and it’s safer and more fun to do with friends.and#8221;
Q: Will you be focusing on making it to the next Olympics?
A: and#8220;Yes, making it to the Olympics next summer is a focus for me, and I am hoping that everything will line up for me to make the team and race.and#8221;
and#8212; Team rider Paul McKenzie is the author of this week’s Marc Pro-Strava Racing column. For more information, results and upcoming events from the team, visit http://marcpro-strava.com.