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An awesome Christmas present

Manny Goguen at US 'cross nationals

Manny Goguen at US 'cross nationals (Image credit: Mitch Clinton)

Belgium, January 1, 2009

This is my first time going to the Euro 'cross camp. It’s been quite an experience for me so far. I didn't know what to expect coming here: what the racing would be like or what living at the house would be like.

After the first few days I got the hang of living at the USA cycling house. It's pretty simple and routine, actually. We get up at 8am (unless there is a race and we have to leave early), eat breakfast and head out for our ride by 10am. After our ride we eat lunch and then we hang out until dinner. During the hang out time I'll usually get on my laptop for a little while and sometimes head to the store or Wall for a snack.

Right around 6pm we hear the famous dinner call. Everyone heads down, grabs a plate, serves themselves and sits. The table is huge! It sits 10 on each side so we usually have multiple conversations going on. If we wanted to have just one, we would have to play telephone to get it from one end to the other. After dinner we all pitch in to clean up. Then it's time to watch some TV, read or get on our laptops.

One of the coolest thing to me is that someone washes my bike for me after the races. It's just too cool. Also, having the guys in the pit taking care of anything I need with my bike is awesome. I'm living like a pro. Man, I could get used to this!

Anther really cool thing is that you can walk or ride anywhere in town. It's so compact. I love going around town. Today Morgan and I went to the chocolate shop so I could got some chocolate bars to bring back home to my family.

At 12:00am this morning tons of fireworks started going of all over town. We all were sticking are heads out the windows trying to get a good look at them. Someone five houses down set some off in their back yard. They were right above us and it was wicked cool.

Overall it's been a wicked fun trip. I'm learning more and more every day. This has been a great Christmas present to be here. Happy New Year and thanks for reading.

Below is a complete roster and racing schedule for this year's camp.

Elite men
Brian Matter, 30
Matt Shriver, 28
Troy Wells, 24

U23 men
Will Dugan, 21
Jeremy Ferguson, 18
David Hackworthy, 19
Andrew Llewellyn, 18
Bjorn Selander, 20
Danny Summerhill, 19
Nick Weighall, 21

Junior men
Cody Cox, 17
Joe Dombrowski, 17
Eric Emsky, 17
Manny Goguen, 17
Cody Kaiser, 16
Gavin Mannion, 17
Zach McDonald, 17
Morgan Ryan, 18
Chris Wallace, 16

Racing schedule

December 21: Uitbergen
December 26: Heusden-Zolder World Cup (CDM)
December 28: Superprestige Diegem (C1)
December 30: Azencross / Cross des as, Loenhout / Wuustwezel (C1)
January 1: Grote Prijs Sven Nys, Baal (C1)
January 2: Grote Prijs De Ster, Sint-Niklaas (C1)

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For its sixth consecutive year, the Euro 'Cross Camp will travel to Izegem, Belgium for two weeks from December 20, 2008 to January 3, 2009, with some of America's most promising cyclo-cross talent. Euro 'Cross Camp Director and US National Team Coach Geoff Proctor selected 19 male riders to take on some of the toughest courses and strongest riders abroad and to prepare for the World Championships in late January. The camp has helped the careers of racers like current US National Champion Ryan Trebon, Jeremy Powers and Jamey Driscoll. Read these diaries for hints of who may emerge from this year's crop of three elite, eight U23 and eight junior racers as America's future 'cross stars? Coach Proctor and his riders will take turns contributing diary entries.