After delaying the start of her cyclo-cross season, Katerina Nash (Luna) is just coming off a successful Kerstperiode where she claimed two victories at Superprestige Diegem and at bpost bank trofee GP Sven Nys in Baal and two podiums. Though her wins took place without world champion Marianne Vos (Rabobank) nor American champion Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective), ranked #1 in the world, Nash was happy with her results. Her wins came in muddy, messy conditions that ruled the races this year in Belgium.
“I feel like my cross season is just getting going.” Nash said prior to the holidays. “I'm excited, I've never done the Christmas series, there are a bunch of races which is great because that's what I need right now. I need the points, and I like the idea of going to Europe and racing every other day instead of sitting around for weeks.”
Nash was not overly worried about missing two months of the season as she now focuses on getting ready for the 2013 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships. “I finally feel healthy and good and things are going fine. I still have time to catch up, maybe at the end of the season I'll come around even stronger because I have a little bit shorter season and honestly, it just wasn't manageable with the long mountain bike season and starting so early because of the Olympics. Just something had to give.”
The delay was a result of a longer mountain bike racing season which included the 2012 London Olympic Games where she placed 14th.
“It just started a lot earlier, typically we go in April but for some reason, we started mid-march in Africa.” she said about her 2011 mountain-bike season. “So last year, I finished cross and it was pretty much one week off, back on the mountain bike so it was a long year and then because, of the Olympics, it adds to the intensity and all of that. It was a long year so it was okay to take a break.”
“I had a little disk problem and I'm still kind of dealing with it but at least now I'm good, I'm riding my bike again and something with the age,” laughed the 35-year old rider. “It's finding a balance and doing other sports, it's good.”
Part of the other sports include skiing for the athlete who also participated in cross-country skiing at the two Winter Olympic Games, 1998 in Nagano and 2002 in Salt Lake City.
She returned immediately onto the podium, scoring five second place finishes at Cincy3 and USGP Derby City Cup before sweeping the CXLA and USGP Bend weekends before heading over the Europe. Nash took up cyclo-cross racing after moving to the United States and is excited to face the world in her adopted home.
Her next race is the Rome World Cup in Italy this weekend to garner more points to move up her in the UCI world rankings where she is currently 11th.
Nash admits that it's important to get a front row start at Louisville 2013. “I was there the last two Worlds and it's super helpful. I'm not quite sure if I'll get there this year but I should be on the second row if that doesn't work out. The start in Louisville is pretty decent, it's kind of wide for awhile. If it doesn't happen, it's not the end of the world.”
Her best result at a Cyclo-cross World Championships was in 2011, with a third place at St Wendel, Germany, her first Worlds podium.