Jordan Cullen leads Sam O'Keefe in a chase group at Versluys Cyclocross in Bredene in 2011. ©tomrobertsonphoto.com
by Evan Schmitt
EuroCrossCamp IX just came to a close, and we recently caught up with a few of the campers in a series of interviews we will publish prior to Nationals. In our second installment, we talk to Clif Bar Development Junior rider Jordan Cullen. Did you miss our interview with Cypress Gorry? Go back and check it out!
Cyclocross Magazine: What has been your biggest lesson learned at the camp so far?
Jordan Cullen: The biggest lesson I’ve learned at the camp so far is that you need to be super flexible the day of a race and not always expect everything to go as planned. For example, at Zolder on Monday the guys working the gate to get into parking weren’t letting us in because we did not have the bracelets that you can get at registration. The only problem was registration wasn’t even open yet so nobody had any bracelets. That ended up being a 15 minute delay there, but you just can’t worry about it.
CXM: How does the scene in Belgium compare with your local scene back home?
Jordan Cullen and some of the other Juniors warm up under the team tent in Bredene 2011. ©tomrobertsonphoto.com
JC: The racing scene is way different over here than where I race normally. The courses are much harder and the competition is much more fierce. I think the gap is narrowing though between racing in the US and Europe, though.
CXM: Which course has been your favorite and which has been your least favorite?
JC: My favorite course so far has been the Loenhout GvA. I really liked that it had a long road section, some mud and a long running section. My least favorite course was Bredene because there wasn’t really anything that made the course super unique except for a sandpit.
CXM: What do you predict will happen in the Junior race at Nationals in Madison?
JC: My prediction is that there will be a group of three to five riders together at the front for most of the race with several riders very close behind chasing. Then I’m guessing with a lap or two to go a rider will attack, get caught, be counter attacked and the counter-attacker will solo in for the win with the rest of the riders sprinting for second.
CXM: What was your goal coming into Euro Cross Camp?
JC: My main goal was to gain some great European racing experience and try to get in the top 30 at the races. I for sure got excellent experience doing five races while I was over here! I also managed two top 30s, in Namur and Loenhout. All and all I’m super happy with how this trip went!