A sure sign that cyclo-cross season is just around the corner comes with the the closing bell at the Montana Cross Camp run by Geoff Proctor in Helena.
The camps were previously aligned with USA Cycling and were known for the first five years as the 'USAC CX Development Camp,' but Proctor went private last year and the name morphed into the Montana Cross Camp.
Campers gathered in two groups - men and women - over several weeks in and around the Montana capitol, using Carroll Colleg dorms to house athletes in between drills and rides. The men's camp, which recently concluded its seventh consecutive year, brought 21 campers coached by Proctor, Chris McGovern, Tobin Ortenblad and Scott Herzig. The first-year women's camp attracted eight riders and added coaches Kaitie Antonneau and Allison Arensman to the mix.
The camp's objective is to select some of the top CX talent, ages 15-22, to come together in the summer, out-of-competition, to begin to officially prep for upcoming cyclo-cross season.
The development includes working on skills, drills, off-the-bike training and conditioning, gravel endurance rides and four classroom sessions per day. The camp has served as a starting point for many European CX block selections and the world championships. In seven years of the camp, there have been 84 individual riders in attendance (with many repeats), and with a world championship placement rate of 31 per cent.
Click or swipe through the gallery above for a closer look at the camp.