by Molly Hurford
The last time we saw Geoff Kabush out racing, it was at the USGP in Bend back in early December. And since Canadian Nationals were already over by then (with Kabush taking the win), he didn’t have any races to look forward to, except for the big one: Worlds Championships in Kentucky, two months after his last cyclocross race of the season. Yesterday, we caught up with him to find out what he’s been up to for the past few weeks, and find out a bit about his goals for Worlds and the upcoming MTB season.
Cyclocross Magazine: First of all, are you excited about Worlds?
Geoff Kabush: Yeah, I think so. It’s going to be interesting. I don’t know what to expect.
CXM: You haven’t raced Worlds before, have you?
GK: No. I’ve never really raced a lot of Euros except a couple on the mountain bike. I saw the preliminary start list this morning and I’m ranked 69th in the world. Looking at the list though, there’s only 45 guys. Which is good, for me, but I think it’s kind of lame.
CXM: True. But I think you’ll be racing the best of the best racers.
GK: Yeah, but usually there’s 65-70 guys. It kind of pisses me off. I’ll go to Europe to race mountain bikes four or five times a year, to do World Cups, and then they bitch about coming to America once.
CXM: Are there any Euros you’re particularly looking forward to racing against?
GK: Not particularly. I’ve ridden against Nys on mountain bikes, and a couple of the other guys. No idea what to expect. I know my training is going well and the fitness is there, so I’ll just be really excited if I can get off to a smooth start and get in the mix. Top 20 would be cool.
CXM: So, training is going well. How have you been training since Bend? You haven’t raced since then, right?
GK: No, I was pretty fat and out of shape by the time Bend rolled around. But I did a solid block down in New Mexico and I’ve been out in California since then, minus a fun little winter camp trip up to Idaho with our team. That was really fun, we went to the back country and camped out in some yurts for a couple of nights. So it was a good focus block, then a little break, and getting in some good, consistent riding. Spicing it up a little bit the last week or so, getting a little intensity in to sharpen up a bit. But yeah, no racing, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens.
CXM: And you’re not racing the Cincinnati race this weekend?
GK: It complicated everything. All my gear is in Colorado with the mechanic, who’s switched programs now, and he’ll drive it all out. Our team and stuff is all over the place; we don’t have a full time ’cross program, so it’s kind of pieced together. We could have made it happen, but it’s balancing training for the mountain bike season with cyclocross, and it wasn’t going to improve my starting position at Worlds, so for me, it was best to focus on consistency of training and stay healthy. It’s been nice. Been hanging out here with my teammates and getting in some solid riding and relaxing.
CXM: Has it been hard keeping up motivation since you haven’t been racing?
GK: I mean, I’m super motivated to train. Just because I’m doing a ton of interesting new stuff with the training in the last couple of years, so I’m fired up to get into training in the off-season since it’s always a pretty short period. It’s just that adjustment to getting the aggressiveness and getting fired up. You can’t just show up to a race and roll into it. But I’ll be in Louisville on Wednesday, and I think the atmosphere and the World Championships … I’ll have no problem getting fired up and motivated.
CXM: Have you heard much about the course? You haven’t raced there yet, right?
GK: That’s another thing. Most of the racing I’ve done in the US has been dry, grass crits for the most part. I’ve raced Louisville a couple of times, but it’s been pretty dry. I just watched the videos from this year, and I’ll be excited if we have some conditions. I think the slower the course, the easier it’ll be to move through.
CXM: How important is Worlds to you. MTB is your main focus, so where does this fall in your priorities?
GK: I think it’s kind of a bonus round for me. No expectations from my team or my sponsors, since it’s a secondary focus. But it’s something I wanted to pursue. I’m definitely looking at it as a unique opportunity. In my training, I’m trying to get ready and sharpened up to give myself the best opportunity. I know it’s going to be a bit of a lottery for me as far as what I can achieve in the start, in the first lap, but I want to show up in the best position to make something happen, if I can.
CXM: If you have a good race – could this mean you’ll spend more time on ’cross?
GK: I think the MTB season will be the priority for the next little while, probably continue through the next Olympic cycle, but definitely myself and sponsors are looking to mix up different events we’ve kind of targeted. And it’s always been on my bucket list to race a little more in Europe.
CXM: We talked about that eight months ago! It didn’t happen this year, but what about next year?
GK: I think it’ll be part of the discussion, and I’ve talked to guys in Japan about traveling over there, doing some fun events there. And I think if I have a stellar result, it might open up some doors for a Euro campaign or trip. This year, with already five or six trans-Atlantic flights in the bank, I didn’t want to push it too much.
CXM: How does the training for Worlds and racing Worlds impact your MTB season?
GK: Well, last year, MTB season started in March and was full on. We had the first US race on March 3, which is the same this year, but last year we rolled right into the first World Cup the third week of March. This year it doesn’t start until the third week of May. I’m putting in a solid block and now focusing on Worlds, and it’s kind of nice to have the chance to kind of recheck and build with a few races here and there, but it doesn’t get rolling until Sea Otter Classic in April. It’s been nice getting to focus on training and building. Doing some interesting stuff there, it opens up a few more breaks that I can work into the program and allows for alternate focuses like Worlds.
CXM: Do you have any goals laid out for MTB season yet?
GK: The World Cups will always be the main focus. We just have one World Cup in North America, which will be the focus, along with Canadian Nationals. And the big races in the Spring, like Sea Otter and the Whiskey 50, so I want to show well there for Scott and the team. But I’m excited about doing other events. I told you about doing Trans-Provence Enduro last year in the fall, and I’m excited to have that at the end of the season, maybe go back more prepared, and just some really fun events that we’re adding around World Cups and whatever works in with that.
CXM: So where are you for training now?
GK: Oxnard, about 60 miles up the coast from L.A. I visited Trebon for a few days.
CXM: Are you nervous about going to Kentucky, the climate change from where you are now?
GK: I don’t think so. I have all the gear and clothes, and I’m not going to have to train out there too much. I’m just going to arrive, get comfortable on the bikes again. If it’s really nasty, I’ll ride the trainer on the porch or in the tent to get hours in. I won’t be doing any endurance rides in the freezing cold. It’ll mostly be getting comfortable on the bikes and checking out the course.
Don’t miss our LIVE STREAMING VIDEO of the 2013 Cyclocross World Championships. And for all the latest news, results, photos and videos from the 2013 Cyclocross World Championships and Masters World Championships in Louisville, KY, keep checking our 2013 Cyclocross World Championships page.