We’re now 14 entries into our rider diary series from the Team USA racers at USA Cycling’s Cyclocross Development Camp. This post is from Cameron Beard. Beard took both days of this year’s CXLA Weekend, Long beach Edition and visited the podium at Kings CX before heading over to Europe. Today, Beard gives us a “day in the life” look at his routine on the day prior to his top 15 ride at Azencross.

You can read all the rider diaries from Cyclocross Development Camp here.

by Cameron Beard

7:37am: I click my phone off and advise myself, “fifteen more minutes should do the trick.”

7:39am: I ponder, “ How was that two minuets? I could have sworn it was twenty, minimum.”

7:43am: I conclude that I’ve accumulated all the time sleeping that I can. I waddle downstairs rubbing my eyes and yawning.

After breakfast, my day begins with a soft mix of J Cole—a very gifted rapper—cleaning and laundry. Emptying my race bag from yesterday’s Superpresteige in Diegem, I find mud-filled shoe covers, mud-soaked jackets and a mud-covered skin suit. Rinse the thick stuff off, then into the washing machine it all goes. Set to “opfrissen.”

From there I return to my room, set up a yoga mat and dive into some core work. Why would I do that? Do cyclists really need core? Truth be told I don’t know how important core strength is to cycling. But my coach Bart Bowen emphasizes the stabilizing muscles that come with a strong core, and a strong core can have visual benefits for a teenage guy. Not saying that is my only reason for doing core, but a motivator for sure. My good friend Spencer Petrov has embraced the chase for a ripped core as well, and we seem to always find ourselves working out together. After twenty or so minuets we finish and begin to plan the off-day shenanigans. First up is our big, huge, monster one-hour spin around town.

Team USA on an easy spin the day before Azencross. © Cameron Beard

Team USA on an easy spin the day before Azencross. © Cameron Beard

9:51am: “Yo, Spence, when are we riding?” “Not sure man, probably soon.” Enter U23 and Team USA hype man Tobin Ortenblad. “You guys know when the ride is?” Spencer and I look out the window to see if we can spot any movement. “ Oh dude they are all out there.”


The three of us go through a frenzy of pulling leg warmers, coats and what ever is near onto our bodies and head out the door.

10:00am: With plenty of time to spare we made the group ride. Our loop today was one I have ridden numerous times. Take off east towards Jabeek, Germany, loop north back into Holland, before returning to Sittard. The ride was uneventful but in a good way. No crashes, no punctures and no weird incidents with angry locals yelling “stupid American!”

We ride smooth as a group and everyone is socializing. On our way back towards the house we make a mandatory stop at the famous Coffee Mundo, located in the main square of Sittard. Following 9 or 10 lattes, Team USA rolls back to the lovely team house in the Watersly neighborhood.

Recovery days mean 9-10 lattes on the coffe shop ride. © Cameron Beard

Recovery days mean 9-10 lattes on the coffe shop ride. © Cameron Beard

1:13pm: The main excursion of the day was the townie bike adventure of Gage Hecht, Spencer, Michael Owens and myself. We take the single speed, front-brake-only track-frame townies out of the bike shed and roll out. First stop is a little restaurant for a late lunch called Soho.

Gage and I took a leap of faith and let Spence’ order for the group. In retrospect he did well. The food, as Spencer put it, was “super dank.” In normal English, it could be described as very satisfying. Afterwards, we strolled through town to the local grocery store. There we found stroopwaffels, my dad’s personal favorite snack, Tuc crackers and some Haribo candies. For out of season consumption, of course.

4:52pm: Back at the house not much is going down. So I decide this a perfect time to get my core on. Though after ten minuets I decide I may want to save a bit for the race tomorrow.

5:18pm: Spencer and I engage in a war of who has a more “fire,” or better taste in music. I take that victory with minimal effort.

6:00pm: A few of us gather around the tv to watch an episode of who-knows-what on Netflix. After the inevitable heated debate of what show to watch, we decide on The Office. Mediocre pick in my opinion, but I guess majority rules.

6:30pm: Dinner Time! Burgers and salad with potatoes! I have to give credit to our cook, Rick, who has been helping us out the past two weeks. Thanks Rick! As expected, everything was awesome!

7:43pm: We return to the house and I sit down and begin to write the very piece you are reading now.

8:00pm: Team meeting, Mr. Proctor got up and talked about the race tomorrow, the grades he issued for the room inspection and team chemistry. Lots of jokes are made, but the instruction given by Mr. Proctor and the mechanics is quickly memorized.

8:30pm: Time to pack my stuff and build the hype for tomorrow’s race!

9:00pm: Time for bed. Cam is out of commission for the night. The team is all resting to bring the noise tomorrow in Loenhout!

Missed a diary entry from cross camp? Read all the rider diaries here.