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For those who have followed bike racing, Kateřina Nash needs little introduction. Born in the Czech Republic, Kateřina raced in two Olympic Games as a cross country ski racer before settling into full time bike racing and representing the dominant Clif Bar Pro Team at countless international events around the world for over 10 years. She went on to compete in three summer Olympic Games and among other results won multiple UCI Cyclocross World Cups, a UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, and finished in the top five, five times at the World Championships. A Friendly and thoughtful ambassador for the sport, we caught up with Kateřina to hear her thoughts about a life as a cycling privateer in 2022 in her own words.
“I feel good about a post-team life for me in 2022. The timing is good for me and I have the skills on and off the bike to build my own thing. I’m very thankful for the support of Velocio as one of the very few new sponsors - lot of my other partners come from Clif Pro Team. I’m planning to do a mix of MTB and Gravel and last weekend I closed out a chapter of cyclocross racing with style at Worlds at Fayetteville. At this point in my life, cross will be just for fun and I’ll mainly focus on local racing but I hope to continue to race Halloween Cross style events for a long time.”
“Life and racing will look similar to what I have been doing for the last 6 years. I completed my last big international season during the 2016 Rio Olympics. Since then, I have been racing mainly in the US and with quite a variety of events. I’ve mixed it up at big and small US events and today I think there are many places I want to ride. I always look for cool new-to-me events to try and this should be easier now that I’m my own boss and get to choose where I go.”
“Finally, every winter I try to ski as much as I can. The only ski race I’ve done in the last 20 years is the Great Race, a local favorite. I think I would love to go back to the American Vasa one day or try something new like the Marcialonga in Europe. I would also like to race the Jizerska 50 in the Czech Republic but I need to do more classic skiing before that! (West coasters are more into skating because of the snow temps here.”)
I have so much respect for event organizers. It’s a lot of work and it allows athletes like me to make a living and for everyone else to go play on the weekend. I’ve watched many amateur racers travel the World to compete at events like the BC Bike Race. They take vacation time to ride their MTB in the most beautiful places. I get to do it for work which I have never taken for granted. With so many changes during the last two years as a result of COVID, I hope everyone appreciates the work put into all events big or small, local or international. Let’s see where gravel goes. I think we are at the beginning of that discipline and I hope it stays diverse with a variety of courses and a very inclusive approach to cycling.”
“It’s not an easy path to be a pro. There is no manual on how to do it and it’s always changing and evolving. It comes down to hard work, realistic expectations, longevity, analytical yet balanced approach and of course ability to take chances, that’s what makes this life great.”