In the spirit of holiday giving, we wanted to offer our readers a sneak peek at what’s between the pages of our latest issue of Cyclocross Magazine, Issue 19. This piece looks at Canadian mountain biker and cyclocrosser Geoff Kabush. While he hasn’t been spotted at too many races, since he spent the summer focused on the Olympics, he has made appearances at big races like the USGP series – most recently, the USGP in Bend, Oregon. He also took the win at the Canadian National Championships, securing a spot on the Worlds team. We’re excited to see how he does in Louisville, but before that race, read a bit about the man behind the muttonchops.
by Molly Hurford
Ask around about Geoff Kabush, and you’re sure to get a consistent response: the man knows how to party. He also knows how to wrestle, at least according to his fellow Olympian, Todd Wells: “If you’re at a party with Kabush, chances are you will end up wrestling him at some point in the night. I don’t know why, but he loves to wrestle.”
Tim Johnson, ever the professional, simply adds, “He can drink very well.”Clearly, this is a guy who knows how to enjoy life. So when Kabush gets on the webcam to start our interview, it’s no surprise that his easy smile is almost as wide as the screen. And why not? He’s got a lot to smile about. 2012 has been good to him: he had his best Olympic year to date and a fifth place at CrossVegas just a week after Mountain Bike World Championships, a podium at USGP Fort Collins, and the win at Canadian Nationals. And there’s no stopping him anytime soon.
“It’s pretty hard to top Vegas,” Kabush laughs, but there’s one race that might have CrossVegas beat. Hint: it happened in London, cyclocross hasn’t made it there yet, and if you win, you get some serious precious metal in the form of a seriously precious medal.
“It’s a pretty strange game, the Olympics. It’s just elevated so high,” Kabush says. After three times visiting the Olympic Village—Sydney, Beijing and London—he ought to know. “The amount of planning that goes into it is pretty crazy for one day. You only get one chance. It’s a lot of pressure but for me it’s about enjoying the process along the way.”
For Kabush, it’s all about enjoying the process rather than the product, especially in mountain biking, since “Things can go right, or they can go horribly wrong, and it’s a lot to have on your shoulders.”
He continues, “It’s not like swimming where you can go again the next day, and in mountain biking things can go really wrong.” Still, he didn’t have any problems this year and rode his way smoothly to an eighth place finish. Not the podium that he had been hoping for, but a stellar result all the same. And the experience was unforgettable: “The coverage and the cameras—there were probably 50 cameras, overhead zip lines—certainly a little different than the mountain biking I grew up with in British Columbia.”
Building Up Steam
His fellow Olympian from North America, Todd Wells, describes Kabush’s racing by saying, “You (I) never want to go into the last lap of a race with Kabush if you’re vying for the win because he will beat you (me) nine out of 10 times.”
Case in point: coming off an Olympic training load and World Cup circuit, Kabush got on a ’cross bike for the first time this season the day before CrossVegas at the Interbike Outdoor Demo. So when he rolled to the start line on Wednesday night, while he had high goals, he had more realistic expectations. His fifth place finish was above and beyond what he was anticipating, and while he again didn’t quite make the podium, he started the season with a bang. “CrossVegas is pretty unique,” he says. “It’s a lot of dealing with the week in Vegas, standing around, and if you want to do well at CrossVegas you have to sneak away and take a break, not stay out all night … which is difficult. But it’s fun to have a race like that with so many people and the whole industry there. It was pretty great this year to be aggressive and shape the race a little bit.”
Like what you read so far? To see the rest of the article in Issue 19 of our print mag, make sure you’re subscribed to Cyclocross Magazine (subscribe digitally to receive Issue 19, or order it in the archive section of our subscription page).
Check our Issue 19 page for the full Table of Contents to see what else is in store, and stay tuned for more sneak peeks!