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Third time's a charm

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Tobin Ortenblad (Cal Giant) races in Loenhout

Tobin Ortenblad (Cal Giant) races in Loenhout (Image credit: Dennis Crane/www.dbcphoto.com)
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Tobin Ortenblad (Cal Giant) in Loenhout

Tobin Ortenblad (Cal Giant) in Loenhout (Image credit: Dennis Crane/www.dbcphoto.com)
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Tobin Ortenblad in the mud of Namur

Tobin Ortenblad in the mud of Namur (Image credit: Dennis Crane/www.dbcphoto.com)
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Tobin Ortenblad races in Namur

Tobin Ortenblad races in Namur (Image credit: Dennis Crane/www.dbcphoto.com)

This is the third EuroCrossCamp I've attended and has easily been the best. Third times a charm, my packing was dialed, my bikes were dialed, and my coaching was dialed. Everything fell into place right in time to make it to camp. In early December I was still on the fence trying to decide whether to attend camp or take it easy at home and get to nationals nice and early to be acclimated. In reality it didn't take much to sway my decision towards camp. A quick call with my coach and a two liner e-mail from Geoff did the trick and my plane ticket was booked.

It was dawn and the sun was starting to rise over Brussels when I arrived. All my bags made it, although it appeared as if the geniuses that handle the luggage had dropped my bike case out of the airplane as I received it with a crack across the top and the bottom wheels caved in. I quickly moved on, met up with the guys and we headed to the house. Much to my surprise the sun was actually shining when we got to the house, so we built the bikes and headed out for a spin.

We were in the same house as last year but there were some changes to the group dynamic this year, the biggest being the two elite women that would be attending the camp for the first time. I thought it would be a nice change of pace and might even make some of the juniors mature up for the twelve day span we would be spending together. It didn't take long to realize I was dead wrong on that front. They still pranced around the upstairs of the house in their tighty whities without a care. On a more serious note the group has meshed together seamlessly, unlike any other year I'd attended. The spirit and morale were high, and the first races were closing in on us with Namur World Cup as our first.

Namur is always a brutal race, always a good first race to kick down your ego and let you know you've got some work to do. I had a rough race as well as some of the others but we carried on and throughout the next week results and improvement started show amongst all. Guys and gals were getting their starts perfected, mud riding technique down, and Elle even learned how to stand on a European podium!

As camp is winding down we near the last race of camp and the first race of the new year, Baal. With four races preceding Baal keep an eye out for a results amongst racers from the USA. This is the eleventh year of EuroCrossCamp and in my opinion has had the most stand out performances. It showed the rising level of talent, dedication, and fitness that is on the come up from younger racers from the USA. The efforts of Geoff Proctor and this camp are really starting to show. I'm always happy to be a part of it.

Over and out.

Tobin Ortenblad

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