Geoff Proctor giving last minute advice to Yannick Eckmann ©Tom Robertson
Tom Robertson continues to bring us words and images covering the Euro Cross Campers experience, this time from the Diegem Superprestige in Belgium. In case you missed them, you can go back and check out our coverage of the Elite and U23 races.
by Tom Robertson
With a couple of World Cup and local races under their belts, the Euro Cross Camp racers lined up to race through the streets of the small town of Diegem. For some of the racers, this was their third day of racing in a row, and they were just looking for a good experience. Elite racer Mitchell Hoke was especially psyched to race, as he had finally gotten his bikes from the airlines after a two-week delay.
In the Junior race, Yannick Eckmann lined up on the front row, and rode a solid race for a 10th place finish, and the top American (slash German) on the day. Andrew Dillman might have had the most fun of all of the racers, however. Having dropped his chain early in the first lap, he was in last after going back through the start/finish line. He eventually worked his way back up to finish 30th out of the 60 riders. However, he was most excited about the cheers that he got from being able to bunny hop the barriers.
Danny Summerhill was again the top American finisher in the U23 division, with Zach McDonald not far behind him. McDonald said he had a terrible start, but like Dillman in the earlier race, seemed most excited about being able to ride a stair section.
Sean Babcock remounting after the long sand section ©Tom Robertson
The Elite race was run under the lights, and what a spectacle it was. While the two World Cup races were big, this Super Prestige race seemed more like a show. The course was well lit, and the race started out blazing fast. The ECXC racers, Ryan Knapp, Ryan Iddings, Mitchell Hoke and Sean Babcock started towards the back, and this was a big disadvantage. There were minimal lines through the first few turns, and crashes and bottlenecks slowed them up considerably. Once things settled down, they were all able to get into a grove and race through a tunnel of people for the entire race. Sven Nys and Neils Albert were off the front after a couple of laps, with Albert taking the victory after Nys dropped his chain on the last lap. And the Neils Albert supporters sang songs the rest of the night, while the US racers drove home in the car listening to the “Best of Super Prestige” soundtrack. That’s right, not only are these Super Prestige races quite the show, the series also has its’ own soundtrack.