This is what you’ve all been waiting for from Pro Cyclocross Rumors and Rumblings: this season’s transfer whale. Last year it was Sven Nys and Erwin Vervecken, this year, an Italian makes the first major splash in the transfer market. Also, take a chance to get to know Canadian Cyclocross Champion Geoff Kabush of Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain. He talks trash and ‘cross with us. All that and much more!
Geoff Kabush has won some of the biggest bicycle races the world has to offer. Just this past season he reached a pinnacle in his career by winning the Bromont Mountain Bike World Cup in Bromont, Canada. Kabush’s World Cup victory stands alongside numerous cyclocross victories, including multiple Canadian National Cyclocross titles. Kabush, who rides for Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain, has been a consistent podium threat this year in the sport’s major events, and has been for some time now. Kabush will look to the podium once more this season at the Stanley Portland Cup, the final stop on the USGP tour, on December fifth and sixth, where he will draw his season to a close, hopefully with a win.
I had a chance to chat with Kabush this week, and we’ve got that interview for you today. You can either read the full interview down below, or all you who can’t read or are lazy, watch it here:
1) What’s your favorite race of this season been so far? What about of all time?
Favorite cyclocross race…probably Granogue for the course, Portland for the atmosphere. I love the technical speed on the hills in Granogue; kind of getting tired of fairly flat and soft courses. I can’t wait to hear the drums beating in Portland. That really gets me fired up to pound it out in the mud. Favorite race so far this year is probably the Planet Bike Cup in Wisconsin. It was a really well laid out course, I just wish we got a few more thundershowers during our race and not on the ride home.
2) You’ve just won a big race, what’s your ultimate post-race meal?
Ultimate post race meal after a win…It would probably start off with a nice Belgian beer right after the race; maybe some pumpkin pie or something salty. Then I would go get cleaned up and meet up with everyone at a relaxed restaurant for some good grub….probably something saucy, maybe a gourmet burger, with more drinks, and a simple, maybe, chocolate desert. I say a relaxed restaurant because after a race the engine is usually still burning and I start sweating bullets when the food goes in. Once I get really soaked, I like to slick my hair sideways like Freddy Mercury. I have actually had some good sweat-offs with TJ.
3) What’s your biggest career achievement to date?
In my cycling career it would have to be winning the MTB World Cup this year up in Bromont. On the cyclocross bicycle I guess it would have to be winning the Gloucester GP back in 2004. It has been a bit too long since I have won one, so I hope to change that in Portland.
4) If you could be anything besides a bike racer, what would it be?
I am a big sports fan so if I couldn’t be a bike racer I probably would have chased another sport….maybe soccer, or ping-pong. Maybe poker: the pay-outs seem to be higher.
5) How did you get your start in cyclocross? What’s been your biggest influence?
I think I did some of my first cyclocross races down in Seattle with a couple friends, Pinner [Andrew Pinfold] and Carter Hovey. That was in ’97 when the SuperCups were going off. There was a lot of excitement around the races so it left a little bit of an impression. I started getting into it again about five year later with my teammate Peter Wedge; he was one of the original godfathers of Canadian cyclocross who stuck it out in Europe so I learned a lot off him.
6) What was your first bike?
First real cyclocross bike was a Yellow “Jake the Snake”
7) If you could win one race, which would it be?
I would really like to win a USGP in Portland. I really love hanging out there, drinking coffee at Albina, breakfast at Gravy, and I love the atmosphere at the races. I will have a lot of family and friends coming down from Canada as well so it would be nice to win in front of them.
8) Who do you consider your biggest rival?
Based on this year it seems like every race I do I seem to be battling it out with Chris Jones. I wouldn’t really say we are rivals though as we are both just fighting together trying to get to the front. I don’t really know Chris well enough yet to truly heckle him like a rival. My biggest rival, or the guy I like to trash talk the most, would probably be Treboohoo. I like to give a fist to the neck before the race or ask him if I can borrow his brain…because I am building an idiot. It is mostly in good fun but I have one strategy I am not going to reveal until I beat him again; probably in Portland. Hopefully he doesn’t cry.
9) Who is your biggest idol?
Idol is a pretty strong word. I don’t know if I have a bike racing idol. There are guys I really looked up to as role models when I was younger….Dave Wiens, Jonny T, Shandro, and I would like to emulate T-Brown or Ned Overend after bike racing is finished. I am impressed by guys that can reach the top of the sport and still enjoy themselves. I am impressed by Sven Nys’s cyclocross riding but then he kept sitting on my wheel at MTB Worlds so I had to abuse him verbally. Also he was wearing tight jeans and a cowboy hat around after so I can’t call him an idol. I was really into basketball when I was younger, so I was pretty inspired by Steve Nash who, like me, was a relatively short white guy from Vancouver Island. He went on to achieve great things against the odds by working incredibly hard.
10) Got any crazy pre-race rituals?
Before a cyclocross race I like to have some good coffee while trying to come up with a few heckles to use on the start line to break up those awkward competitive silences. For example, asking the roadies if they have put on a few pounds because they are looking a bit tubby.
Enrico Franzoi Swaps Liquigas for BKCP-Power Plus
As if World Champion Neils Albert weren’t enough to build a team around, BKCP-Power Plus is quicky looking like cyclocross’ new power-team with the addition of Italian national champion Enrico Franzoi. Franzoi swaps the acid green of Liquigas for the black and white of BKCP-Power Plus starting on January 1, 2010, and adds some much needed top-end support to an already strong team. Team manager Christophe Roodhooft cited the loss of Neils Albert last year to a ruptured spleen as the cause for the addition of Franzoi to the squad. Albert’s departure from the racing scene almost one year ago to the day of the announcement, signaled an absence of BKCP-Power Plus from many of cyclocross’ major podiums. With Franzoi now on board, the team has that capability in two riders, not just one.
Franzoi is no stranger to the limelight, having won the bronze medal at the 2007 World Championships behind Erwin Vervecken and Jonathan Page. Franzoi was also the U23 World Champion in 2003, and has been the Italian champion 9 times between his titles as a Junior (1), Espoir (4) and an Elite (4). Franzoi is a weekly top ten threat, and has a good shot at major victories if he has a good day. Franzoi will join Albert, German Champion Philipp Walsleben, Radomir Simunek, Dieter Vanthrourenhout and Sanne Cant on a stacked BKCP-Power Plus squad at the turn of the new year.
Vantornout Returns, Vanthourenhout Set to Return
Klaas Vantornout only needed one race off to declare himself, and his wounded right shoulder, fit for a return to racing. After skipping the mid-week racing action in Niel, Vantornout was back on his bike over the weekend in Gavere, where he rode to a fifth place finish. Considering that he did so with a tear in his shoulder tendon, it’s a wonder the Belgian riding for Sunweb-Projob was even on the start line. Vantornout’s ride in Gavere was not without incident, however, as at one point his rear wheel exited its dropouts and was left behind as Vantornout ran to the pits. Vantornout realized that his wheel was lost but did not have time to go back for it, allowing one lucky fan the score of a lifetime.
Vantornout’s teammate Sven Vanthourenhout is on his way back from a two week recovery period after the Belgian Sunweb-Projob rider declared himself unfit for racing due to overtraining. Vanthourenhout headed to Majorca for a training camp to bring himself back to fitness, and the trip has done his body good. Vanthourenhout recently announced that he would make his return to racing this weekend in Hasselt, where we will see if the training camp accomplished its goal.
Wondering what your favorite mudders have been up to? Doing your homework so you can win Cyclocross Magazine’s fantasy cyclocross league next season? We’ve got you covered with our new, weekly report on your favorite top ‘crossers. Each week Jake Sisson will bring you the latest news, gossip and maybe even a tweet or two on the pro scene. This is installment #31. Installment #30 is here. Got something worth reporting? Let us know!