Proctor working with Yannick Eckmann at EuroCrossCamp last Christmas. Photo courtesy of Geoff Proctor

Proctor working with Yannick Eckmann at EuroCrossCamp last Christmas. Photo courtesy of Geoff Proctor

Once again, a select group of Juniors and U23 racers—and two Elite women!—have headed over to Europe to take part in Belgium’s Christmas Week. We asked the attendees of EuroCrossCamp 2013 to share some of their experiences via photos, text, video, whatever medium they wanted to. Here, we present the amalgamation of their efforts, and we’ll be linking to our race coverage so you can see how our boys and girls are doing as the trip goes on.

Tuesday, December 31st

From Junior Lance Haidet on racing the Diegem Superprestige:

“Diegem Superprestige was this past Sunday. It was an awesome course with tons of mud, and thousands of enthusiastic spectators. I was up in the top 20 for the first third of the race, but after a couple of minor mechanical incidents, I didn’t have the legs to make my way back up to the front of the race. Racing over here  in Belgium, with such fast guys has made me realize just how precious every second is while racing, because just one or two small mistakes can mean the difference between top 15 or top 25.”

From Junior Gavin Haley on racing the Diegem Superprestige:

“I was last place after the first corner. It so discouraging seeing how far ahead these guys are just because of one mistake. I raced hard and consistent and went from 55th to 16th. You have to be careful in races like Diegem because you can blow up so easily if you panic.”

Sunday, December 29th

Elle Anderson raced to her first European podium at the Diegem Superprestige, and American Juniors accounted for 25% of the field in their race.

“Diegem was definitely a highlight of EuroCrossCamp for me,” Anderson told us. “The course had a great mix of all different elements so there was a bit of everything : sand, deep mud, running, pavement, climbing and technical sections. Basically that meant it was a blast to race on. I was lucky to have a strong start and it was an honor to ride with Sanne Cant and Eva Lechner for most of the race. Being on a European podium for the first time was such an exciting experience and definitely makes me fired up for more European ’cross racing in the future.”

Photographer Dennis Crane snapped this photos of the women’s start, and you can see Elle Anderson on the far left working her way through the crowd for the opening that would ultimately lead her to third place.

Women's start at Diegem Super Prestige. © Dennis Crane

Women’s start at Diegem Superprestige. © Dennis Crane

Saturday, December 28th

The guys and gals at EuroCrossCamp get a day off, but their fundraising efforts continue. Check out their commemorative t-shirts here.

Missed yesterday’s racing action? Check out the results from Azencross here.

Friday, December 27th

Gavin Haley on racing at Beernem

Today, I raced and did pretty well. Sixth out of 35 to 40 juniors at Beernem. I even led for awhile! I was in the sprint for fourth. I have never been respected by the Belgians until today. After many spectators and riders came up, congratulated me and shook my hand. It was an amazing feeling. I hope this becomes a regular for me.

When the whistle blew, no one was ready. I looked back to see my friend Lance Haidet off of his bike removing his jacket. It was shocking. I just murmured some things and went as fast as I could.

I go so much deeper into the pain cave here. I don’t know why or how. It’s just so motivating.