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

For its fifth consecutive year, the Euro 'Cross Camp will travel to Izegem, Belgium for two weeks from December 20, 2007 to January 3, 2008, with some of America's most promising cyclo-cross talent. Euro 'Cross Camp Director and US National Team Coach Geoff Proctor selected 16 male riders to take on some of the toughest courses and strongest riders abroad and to prepare for the world championships in late January.

This year's camp is taking on a more youthful feel with just two elite riders, Ryan Trebon and Tristan Shouten, joined by eight juniors and six espoirs. The riders were selected based on their performances throughout the USGP Series. Coach Proctor and his riders will take turns contributing diary entries.

Index to all entries

Belgium, December 24, 2007

The joy of travel

Steeds, ready for action
Photo ©: Brady Kappius
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My adventure to Euro Cross Camp VI started out in Denver on the 19th. My initial route had me going from Denver, to Chicago then to London and finally to Brussels. That plan didn't last long. My flight out of Denver was delayed because a de-icing part needed to be replaced. I missed the connection in Chicago because of this. So, I'm not too worried, there has got to be some other flights out of Chicago that I can get on. Nope.

I get there and go over to the customer service desk. They are closing, so I get sent to the one on the other concourse. Sure enough, they are closing too. I try the self-service kiosk to no avail. I call the 800 number for United. They can't do anything but put me on some flight for tomorrow. I try to get on a Lufthansa flight to London that's was supposed to leave in 5 min. That was too big of a hassle for them to do at the gate. Well, I guess I'm staying in Chicago. I got a room for the night and tried again in the morning. I got on a flight to Washington DC, then to Brussels.

I finally made it to Belgium, the cyclo-cross capital of the world. Which really means nothing when your bikes and bag don't show up. I finally got my bag on the 21st and my bikes showed up today. I raced (or tried to) on Ryan Trebon's training bike in Zeddam today. I made it around three laps before my back couldn't handle it anymore. A 61cm top tube plus a 120mm stem was just too much for me.

The sun is out in Belgium
Photo ©: Brady Kappius
(Click for larger image)

The course was really fun though. It was slick in the corners but fast everywhere else. There was a nice big fly-over as well. The most interesting feature was the 100-stair run-up. The first lap through was totally crazy with guys yelling in all different languages as we came to a complete halt at the bottom. It was pure euro racing fun. Hopefully I will feel better after a couple days of training on my own bike then Wednesday is a big World Cup in Hofstade. Wish me luck.

Brady Kappius


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Brady Kappius

Below is a complete roster and racing schedule for this year's camp.

Elite Men

Ryan Trebon, 27,, Bend, Oregon
Tristan Schouten, 26, Planet Bike, Sheboygen, Wisconsin

Espoir Men

Jaimey Driscoll, 22, FiordiFrutta Elite, Jericho, Vermont
Danny Summerhill, 19, Clif Bar Development, Englewood, Colorado
Nicholas Weighall, 21, Rad Racing NW, Mill Creek, Washington
Mitchell Peterson, 21, Devo, Sandy, Utah
Carson Miller, 19, Fred Meyer, Bend, Oregon
Brady Kappius, 21, Clif Bar Development, Littleton, Colorado

Junior Men

Steve Fisher, 18, Rad Racing NW, Lynnwood, Washington
Gavin Mannion, 17, Hot Tubes, Dedham, Massachusetts
Eric Emsky, 17, Rad Racing NW, Fall City, Washington
Andrew Llewelyn, 18, Papa Johns, Louisville, Kentucky
Clayton Omer, 18, Papa Johns, Louisville, Kentucky
Jeremy Ferguson, 18, Team Spine, Rocklin, California
Zach McDonald, 17, Oberto/Redline, Bainbridge Island, Washington
Ian Terry 17, Rad Racing NW, Seattle, Washington

Racing schedule

December 22: Huijbergen, Holland (C1)
December 23: Balegem, Belgium (NE)
December 26: Hofstade World Cup, Belgium (CDM)
December 28: Loenhout Gazet Van Antwerpen Cup Series Race, Belgium (C1)
December 30: Diegem Superprestige, Belgium (C1)
January 1: Baal Gazet Van Antwerpen Cup Series Race, Belgium (C1)
January 2: St. Niklaas, Belgium (C2)

For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Tristan Schouten