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Barry Wicks and Jeremy Powers get a taste of Belgian mud at the Euro 'Cross Camp
Photo ©: Joseph Sales
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Across the pond: Euro 'cross camp VI diary

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.

Index to all entries

Belgium, January 4, 2009

Last race

By Danny Summerhill

American Danny Summerhill (Clif Bar)
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Today [Friday - ed.] we raced the GP de Ster Sint Niklaas pro and under 23 mixed race. Unlike the rest of the camp, today was the first day in two weeks where the ground was able to thaw out a little bit. That created a very greasy, slippery course and caused just about every one to crash at least once.

I thought the race went so-so, but definitely could have been better. With the bar being raised so much higher racing over here, you tend to push your self to limits a lot more, and with that, people crash more easily.

That is what happened to me, today, and I am sure every other person at least once on this slippery course. With my crash, I bent my bars and probably broke a spoke, so by the time I got to the pit mentally, I had kind of checked out of the race. In reality, I had lost sight of the second placed under 23 rider ahead of me, so after that, I just kind of rode around pushing it hard on the straight-away sections and taking my sweet time on all of the slick, slippery sections until the finish. I rolled in with Jeremy Powers getting 21st and 22nd.

"We... said our thank yous and goodbyes to all the mechanics and staff. If it wasn't for them, none of what we have accomplished in the past two weeks would have ever been possible."

- Danny Summerhill reflects at the end of Euro 'Cross Camp.

Other then that, yesterday was a happy and a sad day. We went out to the end of camp dinner and said our thank yous and goodbyes to all the mechanics and staff. If it wasn't for them, none of what we have accomplished in the past two weeks would have ever been possible.

I would also like to give a special thank you to Geoff Proctor because with out the passion and drive to help young, American riders grow and learn more in this sport, none of us would be here today, and for that we all owe a very big thanks to him.

From there we went home, finished packing and just hung out – making it, for some of us a very fun way to end our 2008-2009 Christmas camp!

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)