Cyclo-cross: Katerina Nash and Simon Zahner review 2017
We continue our series featuring members of the UCI Athletes’ Commission. Today, cyclo-cross athletes Katerina Nash (Commission President) and Simon Zahner look back on their year: the highs, the lows and the memorable moments.
Katerina Nash, Czech Republic
• Two-time UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships bronze medallist (2011, 2017)
• Three-time medallist in team relay at UCI Mountain Bike World Championships
• Five-time Olympian (two winter – three summer).
Simon Zahner, Switzerland
• UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships top-ten finisher (9th in 2017, 10th in 2012)
• Five-time silver medallist, Swiss Cyclo-cross Championships
• Bronze medallist U23 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in 2005.
Personal sporting highlight of the year
K.N. Bronze medal at UCI World Championships in Bieles, Luxembourg
S.Z. Getting 9th at UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in one of the craziest atmospheres I've ever raced in!
Disappointment / bad moment of the year
K.N. Crashing and getting a flat tire during the first lap of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Bieles. Somehow my negative thoughts never caught up with my legs. Legs just kept on going and I managed to ride back from mid-field to bronze medal.
S.Z. Ninth place at the Nationals after an early mechanical, chasing in "no man's land", riding faster than the leaders, never giving up but never getting closer either.
My biggest surprise of the year
K.N. I signed a contract with Clif Pro Team for the 17th season. Still a surprise to me since I was mainly looking for an opportunity to race bikes while finishing college. Yes, that was 17 years ago!
S.Z. Not really surprising because they are all so good, but I’m always really happy when current and former teammates and guys I train with have an extraordinary day. Out of all that I choose Silvan Dillier’s win in the sixth stage of the Giro d’Italia.
Anecdote of the year
K.N. I got both my parents on mountain bikes this summer. It was special to ride trails with them since cycling is so important in my life, yet we’ve never ridden together before. My parents attended many of my cycling events over the years so cycling was part of our lives, but this was such a new and fun experience for all of us. I hope to do it again.
S.Z. I set the alarm at 5:30 on the last morning of summer holiday and rode up a hill in Tuscany with my oldest son. We watched the sunrise, descended the single trail, bought paninis, had breakfast with the rest of the family and were ready for the long drive home. Shows that there’s always a moment for a nice bike ride…
My cycling hero of the year
K.N. My friend Margie LaPoint. She is an inspiration to me and many others. She’s a Masters racer who wants to keep improving at any age and keeps trying new things. Former MTB cross-country, marathon and enduro US National champ now taking on cyclocross. 60 + and not slowing down!
S.Z. It's hard to ignore super hero riders like Peter Sagan or Mathieu Van der Poel but in the end everyone who enjoys riding his bike(s) and inspires people around him/her to go out and ride too is a hero
Other cycling discipline I would like to try
K.N. Road. I had an opportunity to guest ride during The Tour of California. It was my first time racing a big road events and it was spectacular.
S.Z. It seems out of this world what they do in downhill mtb but I’d give it a try if I could.
My favourite cycling race/competition of the year as a competitor
K.N. BC bike race. This mountain bike stage race covers some of the best trails from Vancouver Island to Whistler
S.Z. CX World Cup in Zolder (Belgium) because of the unique course on the car race track and the atmosphere on Boxing Day.
My favourite cycling race/competition of the year as a spectator
K.N. Halloween Cyclocross race at Folsom Lake, CA. Always a great time when bunch of adults dress up in Halloween costumes to race cross.
S.Z. Paris-Roubaix because there's so much that can happen to every rider on that day. The race is always worth the time spent in front of the TV and watching is nearly as exhausting as racing it.
My sporting ambition(s) for 2018
K.N. Keep riding my bike and enjoy the process. Take any kids who are interested out riding and show them how great cycling can be.
S.Z. Enjoying my life on 2 wheels and sharing these moments with the people around me