As the season shifts into December, all eyes are starting to focus towards National and World Championships. Most countries, the US now included, hold their National Championships in January with Worlds being held the first weekend in February. With worldâ€™s being held in the United States this year, the time has come for riders to make their bid to represent the US in Kentucky.
Enter, the Euro Cross Camp. Held every winter since 2003, the Euro Cross Camp allows American riders to experience racing at the highest level of the sport for a few weeks from Christmas to New Years. This years camp has added importance as many of the riders in attendance will be vying for spots on the US Worldâ€™s team. The experience is invaluable and the memories last a lifetime. Former camp attendees include Bjorn Selander, Danny Summerhill, Ryan Trebon and Jeremy Powers, just to name a few.
With this shift in focus in mind, Pave is starting to cover the names and faces that will represent the United States in February. We will continue our coverage of all that is cross (weâ€™re taking a trip across the pond in a few weeks as well), but we are going to bump up our coverage of American cross riders as they make a bid for the Worldâ€™s team. So, what better place to start then with the young, relatively unknown, riders who will be attending this years camp. Hereâ€™s a quick look at the Elite Men and U23 riders attending camp:
With many of our nations top riders focusing on their own program, the number of Elite Men at camp has decreased slightly over the past few seasons. This year, Justin Lindine will be the sole elite rider at camp. The 28 year-old from New Salem, MA had a breakout season in 2011 and has had a solid 2012 season.
A consistent podium threat, Lindine rarely finishes outside the top five and almost never outside the top ten. This consistency helped Lindine pick up the 2012 Verge NECCS overall. European experience is a critical part of making the jump to the next level, this opportunity could see Lindine become a real threat in the coming years.
Manny Goguen – hailing from Hopedale, MA, this 21-year-old has raced a solid season in New England. Goguen is consistently in the top 25 and has had a handful of top ten finishes this season. In 2008, Goguen made the trip to camp as a 17-year-old junior, so he has some European experience.
Danny Gerow – as with most riders attending camp, Gerow is a solid local talent in his native Michigan. Gerow had a top ten finish at nationals and heads back to camp for the second consecutive year. This season he has raced some bigger races including the Planet Bike and Derby City rounds of the USGP.
Josh Johnson – a Cross Camp first-timer, Johnson is a talented 20-year-old who could use the experience of racing with the worlds best. Johnson is currently in the top ten overall in the U23 USGP and has consistently placed inside the top 20 this season (remember U23 riders race with the Elite Men in the US).
Skyler Trujillo – Trujillo attended camp as a junior in 2009-10 and went on to race worldâ€™s in Tabor, Czech Republic. Since then Trujillo has become a top mountain biker and has raced well at the collegiate level. After stepping up to the U23 ranks, this experience should help Trujillo continue his development and push him to the next level.
Andrew Dillman – this Kentucky native would love to wear his nations colors in Louisville. He returns to camp for the third straight year, this time as a U23 rider. Dillman finished 14th at Worldâ€™s last year and finished inside the top five at nationals. This season, heâ€™s made the jump to the U23 ranks and has had some top ten finishes.
Tobin Ortenblad – after heading to camp last year, and representing the US at worldâ€™s, Ortenblad returns to camp as a U23 rider. Ortenblad has had a solid season thus far as a U23 rider, finishing in the top half of USGP races and is in the top five overall with two rounds to go.