As the Euro 'Cross Camp comes to an end, I am able to look back and see all of the good memories and experiences. As an alumnus of the camp I could go into it and know what was going on. Also from last year I knew where everything was, like the grocery store, registration, and I also knew the routine of the house. But I don’t think you can go to Europe and not experience anything new. I knew I still had some learning experiences to come.
One of those things I learned was that the kids over in Belgium don’t go home and play video games, after school they go to the bowling alley or the movies. I learned that because some of the riders after their ride went to the bowling alley, and there were a lot of kids that went there straight from school. And for the movies, some other riders went to the movie theater in the next town over and the line to get a ticket was out the door. And I might add that it was only a Thursday.
As for the riding in Europe, it is exactly how you would imagine it: narrow roads, cars buzzing close to you, and how you just ride through these little towns with farmland in between them. I didn’t really experience the riding outside last year because it was really snowy and cold, and I rode on the rollers a lot. So riding outside was interesting for me this year. Sometimes it is very hard to find your way back to the USA Cycling house. Therefore an hour ride consists of riding out of Izegem for 30 minutes and then another 45 to 60 minutes trying to find the house again.
The racing was a lot different, too, this year. That is because I knew most of the race courses, and for me whenever I have seen a course before it usually keeps me calm. Also I had a front row start in most of the races because I had UCI points this year. The start is not make or break in our race, but it sure helps to have that little bit of edge on the other racers.
So as all of the riders start to leave for the US and Nationals in a week, the camp is coming to its last days. Geoff Proctor is amazing! He works with all the riders one-on-one, coordinates all the schedules, and makes the camp possible. Also, I would like to thank everybody in my life that made it possible for me to race over in Europe and bring back all the experiences I had.
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.
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)
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