Geoff Proctor has a long history of racing ‘cross. But his biggest achievements in the sport by far will be his critical role in shaping the future of U.S. cyclocross with his Euro Cross Camps he’s held each winter for our young riders. His sixth camp is underway, and despite a few riders still making their way to Belgium, the camp will begin with a race on Sunday.
“Flying 19 guys from the US in the middle of winter isn’t so easy with weather delays,” Proctor told Cyclocross Magazine, as five riders are still to arrive. But he and the crew is in good spirits. “All is good. We are gearing up today for first race, a low key, shake the legs out race.”
Full press release below: Also see our in-depth look at Proctor and the Euro Cross Camp.
2008-2009 Euro Cross Camp VI
With the American cyclocross season finished, Euro Cross Camp gears up for its sixth year of preparation for the world championships and development of future cyclocross talent.
Nineteen U.S. riders will make the jump across the pond directly after US Nationals in Kansas City to take on the ever-tough and ultra challenging international competition of continental Europe.
“As always, I’m excited about this year’s group of riders and the races we’ll do,” enthused Geoff Proctor, Director of Euro Cross Camp and U-23 and Junior National Cyclocross Coach. “Despite the tough economic climate, these guys are really hungry to go over. Half of the camp roster are returning camp riders, so they know what to expect.”
Proctor adds that both the junior and U-23 squads boast a core threesome of power and experience. “In the juniors, we’ve got U.S. National Champ Zach McDonald, Gavin Mannion, and Eric Emsky–all world championship team members from Treviso, Italy 2008. In the U-23′s, Danny Summerhill and Bjorn Selander already have done one European block of racing this fall and, along with an in-form Nick Weighall, are targeting a super result at the world championships in Hoogerheide, Holland in late January 2009.”
Building on this youth momentum are experienced elites Troy Wells and new Euro Cross Camp riders Matt Shriver and Brian Matter. All three have shown well in the fall domestic UCI calendar.
The camp gets underway with a small national race in Uitbergen on Sunday, December 21. Then, after four days of training, the team takes on the Zolder World Cup, the day after Christmas. Thereafter, the big races come in steady succession: Diegem Super Prestige on December 28; Loenhout GVA on Dec 30; Baal GVA on January 1; and St Niklaas on January 2. The camp ends January 3 with some riders staying in Europe to train for the world championships and others flying home for school and/or one final training block.
One of the enduring aspects of the camp is the ethos where, as Americans, the team comes together in a tough environment to do battle against the best cyclocross racers in the world. No other nation approaches cyclocross with the same team philosophy.
“The level, the depth, the courses, the conditions–they’re all there. As we like to say, weather-wise, you have to be ready for the Gavia every day [a reference to the Hampsten Giro epic]. In such a tough environment, kindred strength leading to strong team spirit goes a long ways towards building success,” Proctor adds.
Proctor and his staff spend a lot of time discussing tactics, training, and planning. A special perk this year will be a visit from noted camp alums Ryan Trebon, Jeremy Powers and Jamey Driscoll (all three heading to Belgium after U.S. Nationals). “They’ll come over for an afternoon of training and then eat dinner with the guys. They know how tough it is and they want to give back by sharing their expertise. That to me is pure class,” Proctor concludes.
Zach McDonald USA19910213
Gavin Mannion USA19910824
Eric Emsky USA19910621
Cody Kaiser USA19920527
Chris Wallace USA19920320
Cody Cox USA19910119
Joe Dombrowski USA19910512
Manny Goguen USA19910502
Morgan Ryan USA1991
Bjorn Selander USA19880128
Nick Weighall USA19870607
Danny Summerhill USA19890213
Will Dugan USA198719870115
David Hackworthy USA19891110
Jeremy Ferguson USA19900616
Andrew Llewellyn USA19900726
Troy Wells USA19840619
Matt Shriver USA19800526
Brian Matter USA19780704