Is it Actually Christmas?

Christmas is definitely different here from the one I am used to back home in Louisville, KY. I miss waiting at the top of the stairs and run down to our presents and seeing all of them nicely wrapped.

Having the house trashed with wrapping paper as we go and have an awesome English breakfast with eggs, toast, bacon, tea, crepes, raspberry sauce, etc… What I miss most of all is my family but it has been super nice making a new family with all the cycling friends I have made here.

The day started off with the usual getting woken up by Mr. Proctor but little did we know Santa had come (aka Drew Dillman) and brought everyone presents! It started the day off on the right note and everyone was laughing and having a good time. That being said, today was another chill day at the house for most of use. Some guys went to race at Balagem, while the rest of the gang went on easy rides and hung at the house.

From what I heard Balagem was a pretty hard course with some super hard core drops and some long straights. One of the USA riders cracked both his frames so it wasn't the best Christmas he has had.

For the rest of the day after lunch we pretty much hung at the house with each other. We ended up watching an old Christmas movie on one of the only American speaking channels. All of use had a great pasta and ham dinner with some crepes for desert, Thanks to Els for going out of her way on Christmas to make the dinner for us.

After dinner the athletes that didn't race today started getting ready for the Zolder World Cup. I can't wait to race it tomorrow even though we have to wake up at 4:45 in the morning.

Christmas is a very joyful time of year. For some it means going on vacation, others love it because it means they're off school and a ton of people love it because it is a chance to visit with family and friends. One of the reasons I love Christmas is because we get to celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ who came into the world on this day. He later died for our sins so that we did not have to pay for the punishment we deserve. Why I am over here I want to race my bike as hard as I can for Him and let His strength and light shine through me. I hope everyone had a great Christmas and a nice time hanging out with family and friends. Merry Christmas!!!

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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 (
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)