Euro 'Cross Camp is about to enter its 9th year and continues to go from strength to strength. Its vision is to offer European race experience to young, developing American cyclo-cross riders and to prepare them for the world championships in late January. Founded in 2003, it utilises the same infrastructure as the USA U23 road programme. This year there will be 20 riders involved and a staff of 12 will be on hand to cater for their every need at the base in Izegem, Belgium.
Throughout the camp riders will be updating Cyclingnews users on a daily basis, offering them a fly-on-the-wall perspective on the ins and outs of life in a residential training camp and the progress that they are making. The riders will do between 6-10 races over the two-week camp under the watchful eye of Euro 'Cross Camp founder and director Geoff Proctor, who also serves as National U23/Junior Team Coach for the USA at the world championships and is a member of the UCI Cyclo-cross Commission.
"More and more, with each year of the camp, I see the overall gains a rider can make," said Proctor. "It's about celebration, indoctrination and unification. Celebration of where we have come from and where we are as a cyclo-cross nation; indoctrination into the Belgian scene, where the sport is revered; and unification via the coming together of individual riders to take on the best that Europe has to offer.
"Many of America's top cyclo-cross, road and MTB riders got their first international race experience at the camp over the years including Jeremy Powers, Ryan Trebon, Jamie Driscoll, Barry Wicks and Danny Summerhill. This year's group is a real mixture of the old and the new. Ryan Trebon knows the camp experience from his past years here (he's a four-time camp member) and having him rejoin is huge for us and a real vote of confidence. It will be great for the youngsters to be able to share time with one of America's best cyclo-cross riders. I'm also pleased to welcome our two best U23 riders, Eckmann and McDonald, back again. Plus the juniors are a really promising bunch, who are all probably excited about Louisville in 2013, which will be the first time the world championships will be staged outside of Europe.
"Cyclo-cross teaches so much about life lessons. Like the importance of perseverance, of overcoming adversity, of working towards a goal. I like the simplicity of that. Euro 'Cross Camp is indebted to all the clubs, teams, sponsors and parents who make it possible to send young riders to Europe. Across the USA support functions are held to raise funds to help the riders attend the Camp. MFG in Seattle just did a fundraiser. Red Zone in Louisville did too. And mentoring programmes from the Bay Area to Colorado to Wisconsin to New England are the real heroes here."
So stay tuned for the regular updates in our blog section throughout the camp in January and in the meantime have a look at some of the photos in the gallery to whet your appetite. There's some great images of last year's camp and pics of some of this year's riders being put through their paces in competition and back home in the USA.
Euro 'Cross Camp IX Roster 2011-2012
Andrew Dillman (Bob’s Red Mill Cyclocross Team)
Zane Godby (Clif Bar Cyclocross Development Team)
Curtis White (Clif Bar Cyclocross Development Team)
Tobin Ortenblad (California Giant-Specialized)
Logan Owen (Redline Bicycles)
Jordan Cullen (Clif Bar Cyclocross Development Team)
Cypress Gorry (Whole Athlete-Specialized)
Lionel Rocheleau (Team Geargrinder)
Luke Haley (Red Zone Cycling Team)
John Francisco (Red Zone Cycling Team)
Sam O’Keefe (C3/Athletes Serving Athletes)
Nate Morse (cyclocrossworld.com)
Stephen Bassett (Bob’s Red Mill Cyclocross Team)
Spencer Downing (Clif Bar Cyclocross Development Team)
Yannick Eckmann (Pearl Izumi/Shimano)
Zach McDonald (Rapha-Focus)
Dan Gerow (Wolverine/ACFSTORES.COM)
Kolben Preble (Clif Bar Cyclocross Development Team)
Ryan Trebon (LTS/Felt)
Jake Wells (Stan’s No Tubes Elite Cyclocross Team)