By Steve Medcroft
Euromedia Group, the U.S. importer of Alan Frames, Barbieri cycling accessories, Ked Helmets and GSG Clothing, will be hosting a fundraiser to help Alan Factory Team junior Cyclocross star Bjorn Selander make the trip to the Netherlands for 2006 Cyclo-cross World's. Scheduled January 7th at Alwins Northside Service in Hudson, Wisconsin, Euromedia president Paul Schoening says the fundraiser is one way that supporters and friends of the young phenom can help with his continued development.
Selander was a discretionary pick for the World's Teams; he missed the automatic (and fully funded) selection when TIAA-Cref rider Danny Summerhill edged him out for both the USGP lead and the December 10th Elite Junior National Championship in Providence, Rhode Island. “Bjorn had bad luck at nationals,” Schoening said. “With 1 1/2 laps to go Summerhill crashed into Bjorn and pushed his derailleur into the spokes and tore it off. Danny waited, showing true class as a first year Junior.” Selander, the 2004 Elite Junior National Champion, had traded the USGP lead with Summerhill throughout the 2005 season and, in the Liberty Cup, an invitational held the day after nationals that featured every newly-crowned national champion and a select field of invitees, came eleventh; ahead of (among others) Tour de France star Chris Horner.
Without the funding of an automatic selection, Selander needs to come with about $4,000 to cover the World's trip. “Bjorn is paying his own way to Euro Camp with our assistance, but has no funding for the World's trip,” Schoening said. “So, considering we have a bunch of great people and sponsors supporting our team, we decided to organize a local fundraiser and donate the proceeds to Bjorn's quest for World's.”
“Last year we did a fundraiser,” Selander said from Geoff Proctor's Euro Cross Camp in Belgium on Saturday. “It was cool. The local Hudson community turned out; people we knew and people we didn't know.” Selander says he'll return to the States in time to attend the fundraiser in person. “I'll have two weeks at home to train and rest (after Cross Camp ends January 4)." The experience Selander's gaining at Euro Cross Camp is invaluable. “If I'm racing like I am right now, I think I'll do pretty well at World's. I just need to get some technical work down; like how to get around corners more aggressively.”
Schoening is inviting anyone close enough to Hudson attend to the dinner. Those who wish to support the cause but are not close enough to attend the dinner, Schoening says you can provide cash or product donations to be silent-auctioned at the event. Failing that, Schoening can accept Paypal donations addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org (please indicate "Bjorn Selander Fund" he says).
The Bjorn Selander Cyclocross World Championships fundraiser will be held January 7th from 5-9 pm at Alwins Northside Service, 413 6th Street North, Hudson, WI. For more information on the event, visit www.alan-usa.com.