The 2013 Summer Reading List for Cyclocross-ers
by Geoff Proctor
“What inhuman resolve,” Geoff Proctor asks in his intimate, lyrically wrought study of European cyclocross, Behind the Stare, “Does it take to grind off every shred of energy to the point of dementia? Where—in the legs, the lungs, the mind, the heart—the hell does it come from?”
What, indeed, makes a champion? The search for this answer is the thrust behind Proctor’s journey through the 2007/8 season as both journalist and EuroCrossCamp coach, where he brings us a behind-the-scenes, to-the-bone dissection of the world’s best racers—from the legend himself, Sven Nys, to his rival Bart Wellens; the fading champion Erwin Vervecken and the high-flying Lars Boom; the sensitive but strong Ryan Trebon, and the struggling Jonathan Page, trying to find his place in Belgium. Proctor takes us beyond race reports and course histories to bring us cyclocross through the eyes of those who sacrifice everything for it, trying to find the secret to the “extra dimension that only a few athletes in the world possess. A sixth sense. An inner chamber to the competitive soul that makes the difference.”
If ever there was an American you wanted to write about cyclocross, Geoff Proctor is it: US Worlds team member in 93, 94, and 96, as well as the founder and director of EuroCross Camp. Proctor has gained the respect of, and access to, the biggest names in cyclocross, taking us into the inner sanctum of these men’s homes, training grounds, and private lives. It’s as intimate an experience as being one of these men’s soigneurs.
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