The UCI World Cup cyclo-cross win from Luna's Katerina Nash on an extremely challenging, muddy course around the famous vélodrome of Roubaix in the cyclo-cross came as a major surprise to many on Sunday although Nash has already proven she can compete with the best in cyclo-cross with a top three last season in Pijnacker.
The Czech racer has spent a majority of her competitive years in the US, where she has won the USGP Cyclo-cross series and countless mountain bike races. The race in Roubaix was only the second 'cross World Cup round of the season for Nash. She claimed a fifth place in Nommay at the World Cup stop in November.
"I knew that on a good day I was capable of finishing on the podium in the World Cup," Nash said to Cyclingnews. The California-based racer flew over to Europe last week for only the second time this cyclo-cross season. It was a worthwhile trip since as she won the Czech cyclo-cross championships.
The Czech champion opted not to ride in every cyclo-cross World Cup of the season, even though she said she'd been fully focusing on the discipline.
"I'm riding with a US-based team, and this is just the way I build up my season. I'm riding the next World Cup mainly to gather World Cup points and improve my start position at the World Championships," said Nash. "I'm really motivated to perform well there, as I'll be riding on home soil [in Tabor]."
"Afterwards, I'll be back on the mountain bike which is my main discipline, but rest assured that cyclo-cross has my full focus, whereas a few years ago I didn't consider it that important," Nash said.
Nash left aside the question of whether she'd switch her primary focus from mountain biking to cyclo-cross. Whatever she decides, she can still enjoy the sight of her cobble-trophy on the mantelpiece.