After winning the Marathon World Champion and Czech National titles, Jaroslav Kulhavy focuses to the last major races of this season. He is in final preparation for the World Cup finals in Méribel, France and especially for the XCO World Championship in Hafjell, Norway, where he would certainly like to build on last year’s victory. And also thinks about his future because of the next Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro 2016 …
It’s two years since your triumph in London, do you still feel some success and reverberation or are you already rather focused to Rio?
“Some aftermath are still going, of course, but it fade away. I have more time now. Now it’s a peaceful time which will slowly escalate again before next Games. Calm before the storm :). The season 2016 is going to be very challenging, because of the World Champs on home soil in Nove Mesto and then Rio. I want to enjoy that year and I’ve already started to think about that because I want to prepare myself as well as I did for London. Everything has to be perfect when you want to succeed”
Your contract with Specialized expires by the end of this season. How is your future looking?
“We are trying to solve it with my manager Zdenek Löffelman. My season, especially the XCO racing, was not good because of injuries, mechanicals, etc., so I want to prepare for the remaining races perfectly and than I couldn’t deal with my future too much and will still have good contidions. I got some offers from other teams already and of course there is also a option to continue with Specialized Racing.
Regarding to the roadcycling, till the Olympics I’ll take it as a training only. If, however, it was a chance to get to the big races like Nino Schurter had, I would appreciate it! Everything is about the team and I hope I will have a chance for this after Rio.”
How’s your current shape?
“I’m feeling good, I was bit tired after racing and travelling in America, but now I’m fine. Even in Mont Sainte Anne and Windham I felt pretty good. If I had finished the first race as I usually do, I’d fight for the third place, because usually I end races better and I’m doing last laps faster. But in Canada, instead of going to a third place, where I was during the race, I lost the podium in last lap…
But I feel I have a chance and can work on it, it’s just about to tune the shape little bit more.
Well, and Windham, there I completely lost race after the start … ”
How do you prepare for the World Cup finals in France Méribel?
“I take Méribel World Cup as final preparation before the World Champs, but it’s also World Cup final race so I will do my best, for sure! Also because I need points to have a better start position. As shown in Albstadt and Windham, start from the third row is not easy, and easily you can t pay there for the mistakes of someone else in front of you. And when you loose too much right after the start, it’s hard to finde a motivation when it’s almost impossible to get back in Top20.
Méribel is at a bit higher altitude, so I would like to collect some data towards the next World Championship in Andorra. I’m not used to race at this altitude level and I do not have much experience with it. In similar conditions in Val d’Isere or Andorra I failed. Local 1600 altitude meters are not so high, but I’ve arrived on Monday rather. “
What are your first impressions of the new World Cup destination?
“The course looks quite good – it’s going around the skislopes, it’s technical, but with no extreme parts. It’s bit slippery after the rains, but I hope it will dries out. “