Luke Feuerhelm made the trip west from Merrill, Iowa to Big Sky country for his first Montana Cross Camp last month. The Central Junior Cycling Development rider had a successful trip to Cyclocross Nationals in Hartford, finishing in fourth place. He also put up podium finishes in his Junior age group at big 2016 races such as the Trek CXC Cup, Jingle Cross and the Illinois State Championships.
Being a multi-discipline cyclist has been the buzz this summer, but Feuerhelm is a multi-disciplinary athlete. He runs cross country in the fall and once cyclocross season is over he trades his SPDs for sneakers and hits the hardwood.
Cyclocross Magazine’s Andrew Yee sat down with the Hawkeye state native to ask Luke about his first Montana Cross Camp experience.
Montana Cross Camp Interview with Luke Feuerhelm
Cyclocross Magazine: So this is your first camp?
Luke Feuerhelm: Yep.
CXM: After four hard days of workouts, how are you feeling?
LF: Pretty sore, tired. Ready to get home in my own bed.
CXM: Did you know what to expect coming into this camp?
LF: Not really. I talked to friends and they said it was going to be pretty hard and I would be tired. I was expecting to be tired, but not this tired.
CXM: After that first morning of stadium stairs and drills and everything, were you sore the next day?
LF: I was tired, but I wouldn’t say sore yet. The next day after that I was pretty sore.
CXM: Everyone talks about how surprised they are about how much running there is here at camp and also how much running they should do in their training. Is that something you do year-round or during cyclocross season?
LF: I do cross country and I do track, but I don’t know if that helps me a whole lot. I don’t do short sprints that much, so I am probably going to start working on those when I get home. Then hopefully I will get better at running.
CXM: So you’re running cross country? How do you balance that and ’cross?
LF: I just do that after school for two hours and then I’ll usually go for a ride.
CXM: Applying for this camp, what were you hoping to get out of it?
LF: I was hoping to get stronger and learn more workouts I can do at home.
CXM: So starting your training but also learning how to train?
CXM: Do you have your own coach?
LF: No, usually it’s just my dad and me working on training plans. I have a coach, but usually I work on my own plans.
CXM: Does your dad race ’cross too?
LF: He used to.
CXM: Is that how you got into it?
CXM: What was the biggest takeaway of the camp?
LF: Do more running, and running with your bike is what you really need to work on.
CXM: It’s a little different muscle and style, posture.
LF: That’s what a lot of the Belgians and Europeans do.
CXM: Do you have a big goal for the season?
LF: I am going to try to get top five at Nationals.
CXM: How did last year go?
LF: I got fourth.
CXM: Awesome. How would you describe Geoff Proctor?
LF: He’s a really fun and nice guy. He knows a lot about cyclocross. He knows how to make you get better. And he really encourages you and makes you want to get better.
CXM: Do you hope to do more of these camps?
LF: Yeah, I really really want to. I want to come back.
CXM: Besides cyclocross and cross country, what keeps you busy?
LF: I do road in the summer. I go out and hang out with my friends. I do track and then I do basketball.
CXM: In track, what events do you do?
LF: Usually the long-distance running, so I do 4x800m, 800m and the mile.
CXM: What position do you play in basketball?
LF: Usually shooting guard and wing, which are about the same thing.
CXM: When’s the season for that?
LF: December some time. I usually have to skip it for cyclocross, so it’s no big deal.
CXM: That kind of jumping and cutting, that must be good for your cyclocross training?
LF: It helps a lot. And cyclocross also helps me a lot with basketball and track and cross country.
LF: You get more endurance and you go harder than all the other kids. So then you get a lot faster and better than them.
CXM: Doing so many sports, can you imagine a day when you have to choose one of them?
LF: I am starting to dwindle them down. I used to do baseball and football, but I cut those out.
CXM: On the biking side, are you focusing on one discipline?
LF: Mostly I’ve been focusing on road, but I get kind of bored with that, so then I go to cyclocross. And I love cyclocross, it’s just so much fun. The atmosphere and all the mud are fun to race in.
CXM: We hope you keep it up. Thanks for your time.
LF: You’re welcome.