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The joy of travel

Belgium, December 24, 2007

My adventure to Euro Cross Camp VI started out in Denver on the 19th. My initial route had me going from Denver, to Chicago then to London and finally to Brussels. That plan didn't last long. My flight out of Denver was delayed because a de-icing part needed to be replaced. I missed the connection in Chicago because of this. So, I'm not too worried, there has got to be some other flights out of Chicago that I can get on. Nope.

I get there and go over to the customer service desk. They are closing, so I get sent to the one on the other concourse. Sure enough, they are closing too. I try the self-service kiosk to no avail. I call the 800 number for United. They can't do anything but put me on some flight for tomorrow. I try to get on a Lufthansa flight to London that's was supposed to leave in 5 min. That was too big of a hassle for them to do at the gate. Well, I guess I'm staying in Chicago. I got a room for the night and tried again in the morning. I got on a flight to Washington DC, then to Brussels.

I finally made it to Belgium, the cyclo-cross capital of the world. Which really means nothing when your bikes and bag don't show up. I finally got my bag on the 21st and my bikes showed up today. I raced (or tried to) on Ryan Trebon's training bike in Zeddam today. I made it around three laps before my back couldn't handle it anymore. A 61cm top tube plus a 120mm stem was just too much for me.

The course was really fun though. It was slick in the corners but fast everywhere else. There was a nice big fly-over as well. The most interesting feature was the 100-stair run-up. The first lap through was totally crazy with guys yelling in all different languages as we came to a complete halt at the bottom. It was pure euro racing fun. Hopefully I will feel better after a couple days of training on my own bike then Wednesday is a big World Cup in Hofstade. Wish me luck.

Brady Kappius

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For its fifth consecutive year, the Euro 'Cross Camp will travel to Izegem, Belgium for two weeks from December 20, 2007 to January 3, 2008, with some of America's most promising cyclo-cross talent. Euro 'Cross Camp Director and US National Team Coach Geoff Proctor selected 16 male riders to take on some of the toughest courses and strongest riders abroad and to prepare for the world championships in late January. This year's camp is taking on a more youthful feel with just two elite riders, Ryan Trebon and Tristan Shouten, joined by eight juniors and six espoirs. The riders were selected based on their performances throughout the USGP Series. Coach Proctor and his riders will take turns contributing diary entries.