In November of 2010 I received an invitation to attend the EuroCross Camp in Izegem Belgium. This is a developmental training camp that takes place over the Christmas Holiday and is designed for up and coming cyclocross racers to get a true taste of what cyclocross is like at the height of the sport. At the time, I had to regretfully decline, as it was too little notice for me to get the funds together in order to make the trip happen. However, knowing that this was a realistic opportunity for next season, I made it my number one goal for 2011.Thanks to the support of my sponsors, it looked as though everything was in place to make the trip happen. Now I just needed to get selected. A little easier said than done.
After coming off a great summer of training and racing, I was more fit and more excited about the Fall CX season than ever before. Maybe I was a little too fit and too anxious to start the Cross season. I put together a couple of decent results early in the year, but I have had one of the most trying seasons to date. I have struggled in nearly every race this fall. Either the fitness hasn’t been in line or I’ve had some bad luck with mechanicals. Next thing you know I’ve changed up my race schedule and I’m racing more and traveling more than ever before. The logic here was to just keep plugging a way and the results will come. This takes more out of you than I ever understood. I’ve steadily slipped from consistently finishing in the top 10-15 to struggling to finish in the top 30. I began to question if I was deserving of going over for the camp, if I was even selected.
I had talked with Geoff Proctor, the EuroCross Camp Director, off and on throughout the summer and into the fall. Mostly I just wanted to make sure the he knew I was still interested in attending. I made a phone call to him just before the 3rd stop of the US Grand Prix series in Louisville, KY. I expressed my frustration with the way the season was going for me and my lack of UCI points and results. He simply asked me where I was mentally and if I felt like I wanted to continue to race through the season and into January for Nationals. I assured him that mentally I am extremely motivated, and very much planning on attending the camp if there is still a spot.
At the end of my 2006 cyclocross season, I sat down with my coach, as I do at the end of every season, and re-assessed my goals. One of the the goals that we made that day was to get to Belgium and race at the highest level of the sport. It is completely surreal that I am actually making this trip happen. I hope to gain many things from this opportunity. I hope to benefit from racing at the next level, and I hope to gain a new perspective on what’s possible when it comes to technical riding and mental fortitude in racing and training. Additionally I hope to gain a boost in fitness that will set me up well for the National Championships in Madison, WI on January 8th.
With air travel and technology today the world is becoming smaller by the minute. With all of the flights I have taken over the years, traveling to race your bike can easily become a hassle or even old hat. It’s easy to forget that I am traveling the Globe to race a bike and represent some amazing products. To me this is the opportunity of a lifetime. I have had to be dedicated, determined and make sacrifices and I definitely do not want to take this experience for granted. If it weren’t for the amazing people that I surround myself with this trip would not have been possible for me. Number one on that list of amazing people is undoubtably my wife, Linda. The amount of sacrifices that she has made to help me achieve my goals is insurmountable. Additionally, I am fortunate enough to live in a place where the community is eager to support local talent. Add to that the numerous sponsors that have supported me over the years and it’s no wonder this Goal has become a reality. Here is a list of my phenomenal sponsors. Support those that support cycling when you can.