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Balancing school, racing and a trip to Antwerp

USA's Chris Wallace racing in Belgium

USA's Chris Wallace racing in Belgium (Image credit: Chris Wallace)

My time here in Belgium has gone by very quickly and I am already headed back to the States on Sunday. I arrived here last Monday night/Tuesday morning and was unlucky like most of the other riders and had a long travel day with many delays. Luckily, I received all of my luggage.

My time in Belgium ever since then has been filled with much racing and riding with the added task of trying to fit some school work in. I was expecting to take all of my finals early but my school administrators told me that was not going to happen so I was forced to lug all of my books here to Belgium, something I have been doing traveling around the US all season. Surprisingly, however, calculus and chemistry are good ways to make the down time here go by.

This past Wednesday, however, I had a break from all of the racing and school work and I took the train up to Antwerp to meet with the director of Navigators Insurance’s office in Antwerp, Jan Dela Ruelle. Navigators has been my main sponsor for the current cyclo-cross season. Upon my arrival, Jan took me to the Navigators office to show me around and meet some of the employees there. After about 30 minutes of talking about cyclo-cross we headed to the city center for lunch.

When we arrived at the city center I was amazed at all of the buildings and structures all over. After some walking around on the cobbled streets we headed to a small restaurant and I ended up having one of the best meals of pasta and cheese I can remember having. Next, Jan showed me more of the city and showered me with gifts of chocolate and the Belgian specialty, Speculoos. Shortly afterwards I got back on the train to Izegem, but it was a great afternoon.

As the season is just about a month from being over I would like thank my sponsors for everything they have done for me this year. First, Navigators Insurance for enabling me to make everything I have done this year possible and for great support throughout the year, the KCCX group for their continued support at races and managing a great team, Verge Clothing, Scott Bicycles, Easton Wheels, SRAM, Challenge Tires, Giro, and TRP Brakes for supplying their great products they make, my parents and family for helping me succeed in races and the support they provide me on and off the bike, and finally God for everything that has happened to me.

Until next time,
Chris Wallace

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Euro 'Cross Camp Director Geoff Proctor will lead the seventh annual cyclo-cross camp that will run through late December and early January. This year, seven juniors, eight under-23 and three elite racers will make the journey to Belgium to train and race over the Christmas and New Year's holidays in Europe. Of those, just seven are returning Euro 'Cross campers.

The riders will stay at the Under-23 House in Izegem, Belgium, and take advantage of all the infrastructure of the US Under-23 national road program run by USA Cycling's Noel Dejonckheere.

The camp has previously 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.

Elite Roster

Troy Wells (Durango, Colorado, USA) Team Clif Bar
Brian Matter (Sheboygan, Wisconsin, USA) Team Gear Grinder
Justin Lindine (Maplecrest, New York, USA)'s Garage/IF

Under 23 Roster

Danny Summerhill (Centennial, Colorado, USA) Felt-Holowesko Partners-Garmin
Zach McDonald (Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA) Stevens/Classic Cycle
Jerome Townsend (Princeton, Massachusetts, USA)'s Garage/IF
Steve Fisher (Bellingham, Washington, USA) Rad Racing NW/Hagens Berman
Travis Livermon (Winterville, North Carolina, USA) Champion System/Cannondale
Josh Berry (Portland, Oregon, USA) Unattached
Joe Dombrowski (Marshall, Virginia, USA) Haymarket Bicycles/HomeVisit
Joseph Schmalz (Lawrence, Kansas, USA) KCCX/Verge

Junior Roster

Chris Wallace (Shawnee, Kansas, USA) KCCX/Navigators Ins./Verge
Skyler Trujillo (Fort Collins, Colorado, USA) Black Sheep Jr. Cycling
Jeff Bahnson (Newark, Delaware, USA) Thule/Van Dessel
Matt Spinks (Layton, New Jersey, USA) Team Plan C CX/Stevens
Yannick Eckmann (Boulder, Colorado, USA/Ger) Clif Bar Development Team
David Kessler (Littleton, Colorado, USA) Clif Bar Development Team
Josh Lehmann (Weare, New Hampshire, USA) Sunapee/S&W/Continental Paving