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A Special Christmas

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Drew Dillman at the start line in Namur

Drew Dillman at the start line in Namur (Image credit: Matthew J. Clark/www.str8films.com)
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Drew Dillman out on a training ride with Josey Weik and other racers from EuroCrossCamp

Drew Dillman out on a training ride with Josey Weik and other racers from EuroCrossCamp (Image credit: Matthew J. Clark/www.str8films.com)
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Drew Dillman celebrating Christmas with Gavin Haley during the EuroCrossCamp tradition of the white elephant gift exchange

Drew Dillman celebrating Christmas with Gavin Haley during the EuroCrossCamp tradition of the white elephant gift exchange (Image credit: Matthew J. Clark/www.str8films.com)
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Dillman bunny hoppin' the barriers

Dillman bunny hoppin' the barriers (Image credit: Matthew J. Clark/www.str8films.com)
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Andrew Dillman (#29) Curtis White (#28) and Torbin Ortenblad (#32) fight through traffic at the Namur World Cup

Andrew Dillman (#29) Curtis White (#28) and Torbin Ortenblad (#32) fight through traffic at the Namur World Cup (Image credit: Matthew J. Clark/www.str8films.com)

What did you do for Christmas? What were some of the gifts you got for Christmas? Who did you spend Christmas with? These are all familiar questions that we all receive upon our return to the “normal” routine of life after the holiday festivities. But for the guy’s and gal’s that get the opportunity to join Geoff Proctor on a journey across the “big pond” they respond to these questions a little differently. I’ve had to respond to these questions with “Yea, I spent the break racing Cyclocross in Belgium. We spent Christmas with the other 15 cyclists that were invited. We got a few little “White Elephant” gifts. And we trained on Christmas and did our normal ‘get-ready-for-the-next-race’ routine.”

To be honest, this year was the hardest for me to go away for Christmas. Until the day I actually got on the plane, I didn’t really feel like I was leaving. The anticipation didn’t build and I wasn’t really all that excited. I questioned a lot about if I should come and if I shouldn’t come. I ended up deciding to go due to the huge amount of support I received from my team, Sophisticated Living p/b Bob’s Red Mill and the help I received from the McShane’s and the Seiler’s through a local fundraiser. As a Christian I don’t want cycling to be the center of my life, I want Jesus Christ my God and Savior to be the center of my life. I had to seriously ask myself, do I want to go to Europe and continue to strive to be the best cyclocross racer I can be (focusing on myself) or do I want to take a little less focus off cycling and focus more on God and how I can further His kingdom (focusing on God). I have fought this question a long time and still do. The only way I can continue to race is if it is for the glory of God alone.

I am inspired by the movie “Chariots of Fire” and how Eric Liddell races because when he runs he “feels God’s pleasure in him.” In the movie a friend says the world needs a “strong Christian” who will win the Olympics and stand out from all the other athletes because he does it for God and that is what I strive to be. So I came to this camp to be, as Pastor J Greene back home says, a “leader for Jesus.” I want my life to reflect the person and workings of Jesus Christ because without Him I have nothing. Today is the day that the Son of God was brought to this earth in the humble form of a babe in a manger to one day ransom Himself as a perfect and holy sacrifice on the cross for the forgiveness of sin.

So I am here at EuroCross Camp for one reason, to glorify God and make disciples of all nations, including the unreached world of cycling. If anyone has any questions or comments at all regarding Jesus Christ and my faith I beg you to please contact me in any way. Thank you and Merry Christmas.
 

EuroCrossCamp Director Geoff Proctor will lead the eleventh annual cyclo-cross camp that will run through late December and early January. 10 juniors, four U23s and two elite women will make the journey to Belgium to train and race over the Christmas and New Year's holidays.

Racing for the campers will begin on December 22 at the Namur World Cup and run through the Baal Bpost Bank Trophee on January 1. A few of the EuroCrossCampers will stay a bit extra so that they can also compete in the Rome World Cup on January 5.

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 racers as America's future 'cross stars. Coach Proctor and his riders will take turns contributing diary entries.

2013-2014 EuroCrossCamp XI Roster

Elite Women
Elle Anderson, San Francisco, CA, Cal Giant Berry p/b Specialized
Courtenay McFadden, Bellingham, WA, Bicycle Bluebook/Rock Lobster

U23
Andrew Dillman, Fairdale, KY, Sophisticated Living p/b Bob's Red Mill
Cody Kaiser, El Dorado Hills, CA, Cal Giant Berry p/b Specialized
Tobin Ortenblad, Santa Cruz, CA, Cal Giant Berry p/b Specialized
Logan Owen, Bremerton, WA, Cal Giant Berry p/b Specialized

Junior
Grant Ellwood, Boulder, CO, Boulder Cyclo Sport Devo p/b BJC
Peter Goguen, Hopedale, MA, RACE CF | racecf.org @racecf
Lance Haidet, Bend, OR, Bear Development Team
Gavin Haley, Louisville, KY, Red Zone Cycling Elite
Chris Key, Boulder, CO, Boulder Cyclo Sport Devo p/b BJC
Ian McShane, Louisville, KY, Sophisticated Living p/b Bob's Red Mill
Ethan Reynolds, Boise, ID, Hot Tubes Development Cycling Team
Austin Vincent, Simsbury, CT, RACE CF | racecf.org @racecf
Josey Weik, Wrenshall, MN, Red Zone Cycling Elite
Cooper Willsey, Hinesburg, VT, Cyclocrossworld.com/Cannondale

EuroCrossCamp schedule:
Thursday, 19 December – Riders arrive in Belgium (fly in to Brussels)
Sunday, 22 December - Namur WC
Sunday, 22 December - Waremme (for racers not racing in Namur)
Thursday, 26 December - Zolder WC
Thursday, 26 December - Beernem (for racers not racing in Zolder)
Friday, 27 December - Loenhout bPost bank trofee
Sunday, 29 December - Diegem SuperPrestige
Wednesday, 1 January - Baal bPost GP Sven Nys
Thursday, 2 January – Riders depart for U.S. (fly out of Brussels)
Friday, 3 January – USAC Selected riders fly to Rome
Sunday, 5 January - Rome WC
Monday, 6 Jan – Riders depart for U.S. from Rome