Knee deep in the process

As I wound my way through the Brussels airport in search of my bikes and wheels, the most valuable cargo to my European cyclo-cross campaign, I thought to myself, "Wow, Ryan. You're really acting like you know what you're doing here." I was a man on a mission. A far cry from the previous year's stumbling around, attempting to pronounce the foreign words in my head. I was leading two other Cross Campers through the airport to the baggage claim, and although I had only been to Belgium once before in my life, for last year's Cross Camp, I could already feel the new-found comfort level that one year of Belgian bike race travel had given me.

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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

Juniors 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)

U23 Yannick Eckmann (Pearl Izumi/Shimano) Zach McDonald (Rapha-Focus) Dan Gerow (Wolverine/ACFSTORES.COM) Kolben Preble (Clif Bar Cyclocross Development Team)

Elite Ryan Trebon (LTS/Felt) Jake Wells (Stan’s No Tubes Elite Cyclocross Team)