Kabush readies for third Olympic Games

Geoff Kabush (Scott-3Roxracing) is one of four mountain bikers named to the Canadian Olympic team last week. Kabush and Max Plaxton will be competing in the elite men's cross country race on August 12 at the London Olympic Games.

"The Olympics is a special event in the sporting world. It's my third Olympics. Having experience behind me, I feel like I'm heading back for the performance," said the 35-year-old Kabush.

For Kabush, heading across the pond is a sort of homecoming. "I lived in England for a year when I was younger and spent several weeks there last summer. We know what we're going into over there. It will be calmer mentally, and the [Canadian] national team has done a fantastic job with the planning."

Kabush finished 20th at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and ninth in Sydney in 2000. Having this Olympics in a place that is more familiar should be an advantage.

"Beijing had a lot of challenges with the travel and other concerns. We got to check out the venue [in London] twice now. The venues have become more compact in the past few years. They built this course from scratch. It's not so natural and more manufactured, but it's definitely challenging. It will showcase the sport well and will be a good competition and a great race to watch."

Kabush raced to 16th at the Mont-Sainte-Anne World Cup this weekend. It wasn't his best day. "It was rough off the start. I had a couple of brake checks early on and looked up after the first couple of corners and was in 30th or 40th," he said. "I really dug hard on the start loop and first singletrack to get myself up in the top 20. I think I got as high as 12th or 13, but I didn't have the gas to push through after that to where I wanted to be."

He will take it easy and rest up for the World Cup this weekend in Windham. After that, it's a trip to Sun Valley and home for 10 days before heading to the final World Cup in Val d'Isere, France. Then it's time for London in the two weeks prior to the big day.

"In London, I want to compete for the podium. I know on a good day, I can compete at the front. I've put a lot of preparation into the Olympic Games and I can do that if it all comes together."

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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews.  She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.