When I got chosen for the Euro Cross Camp I wasn’t sure how the whole racing thing would go. I got my chance to see how it went in the Kalmthout World Cup.
The Saturday before Kalmthout the people who got to the camp went out to a farmer's field and did a small local race. Because it was only a local no one had UCI points, or at least not as many as the few Americans in the race.
Bjorn Fox got the hole shot with me in second. We rode like that for the first lap. Once the Belgians got going they caught up with us and I got to ride their wheel. We all only used this race as an opener for the world cup. Bjorn ended up getting 3rd on the day.
On Sunday the juniors left at 5:00 AM for the World Cup. Leaving this early was necessary because there had been a big snowstorm that night, and Belgians freak out when there is ANY snow on the ground. When we got to the course it was still really dark out.
We all got dressed in this little makeshift room in a big industry building on the outskirts of the venue. Once the sun came out we all got to see the course. It was a really fun course; there were lots of icy, slippery switchbacks.
The USA riders were some of the first riders to be out there in the morning. We all went back to the USA tent and started to warm up on the trainers. Once race time came around we all went to the start line, four out to the five riders got third row call-ups.
There were lots of shoulders and elbows being thrown, and I was really surprised that no one went down in the start/finish stretch especially as it had a bit of a bend in it and ended in a paved u-turn, always a recipe for disaster.
Once all the riders hit the snow section it was still crash-free until the first corner. Then all the riders got backed up and then started to run for like 100 meters. When the race got all stretched out it settled down. I ended up 49th.