At the age of 18, Veronika Kubínová has a brilliant career so far in MTBO and a lot of stories to tell. Some of them are in this Interview, showing - along with her natural doubts and certainties -, the extraordinarily promising athlete she is.
The first question is always the easiest. Would you like, in brief, to present yourself?
Veronika Kubínová (V. K.) - Hi, my name is Veronika Kubínová. I am 18 years old and I love sport. My hometown is Karlovy Vary, a city in the east of Czech Republic with thermals and beautiful nature around. Biking here is a real pleasure. I study on high school and next year I'll enter the university (mathematic, physic). When I am not at school or training, I cook, bake and do ceramics. I do many types of sport. For example bouldering, swimming, dancing, paddling, cross-country skiing, slackline and yoga. When I was 8, I went cross-country skiing club Slovan Karlovy Vary. We had a great group and we did foot orienteering together. I do MTBO thanks to my father. My first MTBO race was the 5 days in Pilsen, in 2005. With time I did more and more races. Right now, MTBO is very special to me but I'm still young and I'm not sure what will be my top sport in the future.
What do you see in MTB Orienteering that makes it so special?
V. K. - The combination of thinking and power. Every control in orienteering is a surprise and I like it a lot. Having fast legs is not enough. I did some bike marathon this year and I could see that I knew the track by memory from the start to the finish, so nothing surprised me. I didn’t enjoy it as much as finding controls. But the most special about MTBO is people around.
Have you a training routine? How is, in your case, a typical week?
V. K. - I have been training under the leadership of coach Honza Novák for two years. In winter I usually spend my time cross-country skiing and in summer I primarily ride a bike and run. I try to do many types of sports. At the same time I study on high school so it is sometimes demanding. My typical week approximately looks like this: Monday – day off or swimming, Tuesday – dancing, Wednesday – running, Thursday – gym, Friday - bike/running/bouldering/swimming, weekend – bike, cross-country skiing, races.
What do you like the most: Long Distance or Sprint? And what about your favorite terrain?
V. K. - I have had the best results on sprint distance but it doesn’t mean I like sprint distance the most. I like all types of distances, each one is different. On sprint distance I like fast decisions and accurate working with map. On the other hand, long distance is fair. It checks out who is really thinking about it and who is strong enough. Middle distance is something in between. Mostly, I like hilly terrains with technical parts. Once again, it depends on the distance.
I can imagine your Sprint title this year, achieved in your home country, as one of the best moments in your career so far. Do you have another significant moments that you'd like to share? And what about the worst?
V. K. - The best moment I have ever been through was definitely the WMTBOC's first race, last year. I reached my first gold medal. It has been the strongest experience. I cried for happiness. But winning at home was unbelievable. Do you know another place than home where you would like to win? To see your family from the winners' podium it’s an awesome feeling. It was also emotional because Martina Tichovská won too. We listened the Czech national anthem twice. Amazing to be part of it. On the other hand the worst moment has been during the Czech Cup race. I did the third (the last) leg of relay and it was boiling and I vomited during my race. I absolutely didn’t enjoy it.
Talking now about the gold medal. How did you prepare for the competition?
V. K. - It was complicated. I was injured and ill on April this year and I missed an important part of my training. On May and June I trained really hard. In the European Championship, in Portugal, I got one gold and two silver medals. I think it helped me for next step. Two weeks before the World Championship we had the O-camp with some junior MTBO representations and it helped me too.
Would you like to remember that day, since the very beginning?
V. K. - To win was in my plans. I was ready to defending successfully my title from Bialystok last year. The day was fantastic since I woke up. I was looking forward to the race. Mornings' rituals passed without problems and I could enjoy the breakfast. Before I went to quarantine, I was joking with my family. Then I was concentrating for preparation. During three minutes staying in corridors, I could feel that I was ready – physically and mentally. The race was successful. I didn’t make any mistakes. I just missed some seconds in urban parts where I am not strong enough. The finish was exhausting but spectators encouraged me to the last second. After finishing I nervously waited for the official results. Lou Denaix punched the last control 4 seconds behind me – what a close race. I won, I couldn’t believe it. I was happy and the best part of this day was sharing my happiness with my family. Although it had been planned, it was a big surprised.
And what about the other distances and the Relay? How disappointed do you feel about those results?
V. K. - No, there was no disappointment. I was sorry that I had some mechanical problems during the Long Distance. I had to fix it during the race and I missed more than 20 minutes. It was my first defect and it gave me a good experience for the future. And the relay? Girls made some small mistakes and one of them had a small falling. I am glad that girls finished with all controls because that was our plan. They made it.
What about the JWMTBOC overall?
V. K. - JWMTBOC in Liberec was the most amazing Championship I have ever been to. The Middle Distance in the skiing area of Břízky was amazing. The tracks, maps and other things... all Middles should look like this. The city sprint in Turnov was also great. There was a cool combination of urban parts and parks with steep slope. The Long Císařský kámen's map was a bit worse. There were steep and dangerous parts and not roads enough. On relay I liked the end of the course in the motorcycle area. There were many chances to change the results. Organizers choose good places for facilities and for spectators. The Championship got the visit of many people from Czech Republic and other countries. The organizers made a good work and I am proud of them. The atmosphere was enormous.
If I asked you a moment - the great achievement of the Championships -, what would be your choice?
V. K. - The Middle Distance's finish, absolutely (even being disqualified in the end for missing the second spectator's control). When I was going from the last control to the finish I heard that I was first. My family and friends were shouting in the finish area. In the end I was so happy. I used all my power and I felt it in the finish. The feeling was awesome. I did my best in this race.
How important is for you this Junior World title?
V. K. - It was my big dream for the season. I am happy that I achieved it. I hope it helps to other Czech juniors to do MTBO. It is possible to win, you just must want to. Personally, this title means new goals for next season.
Have you some goals designed yet for the next season? Are you able to be Martina Tichovska's biggest opponent?
V. K. - Not yet. I am still thinking about season 2015. Of course I would like to defend my title. Martina Tichovská is really strong and I am glad that I can race with someone like her. Some women has been motivated to go back to the national team since the World Championship. The Czech team is going to be even stronger!
Would you like to share the biggest wish for the future?
V. K. - I would like to continue healthy. Definitely I'll be in Portugal for the WMTBOC 2016, defending the title. Who knows what will be next?