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Arrived in Vorselaar

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Wow! This place is beautiful... Castle in Vorselaar

Wow! This place is beautiful... Castle in Vorselaar (Image credit: Nate Morse)
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Sven Nys racing at the Vorselaar cross course!

Sven Nys racing at the Vorselaar cross course! (Image credit: Nate Morse)

I have been here in Vorselaar for two and a half days now, and it has been nothing short of fantastic. We've had a few awesome training rides so far and even some SUN on Friday. Delicious meals cooked each night by Jim Anderson keep all 16 hungry bike racers happy and Dave Hartman, our awesome mechanic, has been tuning up bikes to keep everyone riding issue free. Thank you so much Jim and Dave!

Right past downtown Vorselaar is a network of muddy little trails that are roped off into a course with a few options for length. Every day that I have ridden there so far, we have seen local guys and kids riding the course on mountain bikes.

At first, I was a little surprised to see people riding around with no helmets and street shoes in full riding clothes, but unlike back home, riding bikes is totally cool! Today, after some openers on the course for tomorrow's race in Namur, a few of us stopped and talked to two of the guys we saw riding. They knew all about the races we are going to do this week and all of the big Euro riders, and also told us that even though the world championships are in America this year, a Belgian would still win. It was really great to have an immediate connection with these guys without ever meeting them before.

While we were doing laps on the course, I wondered if any real races were ever held at this little venue, so when I got home I searched online. This is what I found! (see gallery image of Sven Nys racing the Vorselaar cross course).

Although I haven't raced yet, I have already had a great time on the bike. I am very excited for tomorrow's race on the World Cup course and for the other races I have lined up ahead of me during this trip. This year, I have so much more confidence going into the first race, so I'm not going to hold anything back!

I'd love to thank my Mom and Dad, Toby Stanton, and the NEBRA board for all of the support and help to make this trip possible!

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Euro 'Cross Camp Director Geoff Proctor will lead the tenth annual cyclo-cross camp that will run through late December and early January. Nine juniors, six U23s and one elite rider will make the journey to Belgium to train and race over the Christmas and New Year's holidays.

What's new for this year is the location of the Euro 'Cross Camp, which will be in Vorselaar, Belgium. Racing for the campers will begin on December 23 at the Namur World Cup and run through the Baal Bpost Bank Trophee on January 1. A few of the Euro 'Cross Campers will stay a bit extra so that they can also compete in the Rome World Cup on January 6.

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.

2012-2013 Euro 'Cross Camp X Roster

Justin Lindine (Redline Bicycles), 28, New Salem, MA

Under 23s
Manny Goguen (C.F. Racing P/B Trek Portsmouth), 21, Hopedale, MA
Danny Gerow (Wolverine Racing Elite CX, 21, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI
Josh Johnson (Bissell-ABG-Nuvo), 20, Fort Wayne, IN
Skyler Trujillo (Boo/Enve/Challenge), 20, Fort Collins, CO
Andrew Dillman (Bob’s Red Mill Cyclocross), 18, Fairdale, KY
Tobin Ortenblad (Cal Giant Berry Farms/Specialized), 18, Santa Cruz, CA

Logan Owen (Redline Bicycles), 17, Bremerton, WA
Curtis White (Hot Tubes Development Team), 17, Duanesburg, NY
Nate Morse (Hot Tubes Development Team), 17, Cohasset, MA
Stephen Bassett (Bob’s Red Mill Cyclocross), 17, Knoxville, TN
Nick Torraca (Mad Duck Cyclery), 17, Grapevine, TX
John Francisco (Red Zone Cycling) 17, Louisville, KY
Peter Goguen (C.F. Racing P/B Trek Portsmouth), 16, Hopedale, MA
David Lombardo (Verdigris-Village Cyclocross), 16, Crystal Lake, IL
Josey Weik (ISCorp), 16, Wrenshall, MN