Imagine being 16 or 17 year-old cross racer and being invited to race in Belgium over your Christmas vacation. It’s an opportunity almost any cyclist would cherish and for nine juniors, that exactly what they’ll be doing this winter. It is often said that the juniors are the future of the sport. If that’s the case, then the future of US cross looks bright indeed. Here’s a closer look at the junior riders who will be attending camp this year:
Logan Owen – Owen returns to camp for his second straight year and among other things, is the US best hope at a medal at worlds. The Washington native doesn’t seemed to be bothered by the attention and has had a stellar season thus far. He’s won both rounds of the USGP he’s competed in (the Derby City Cup) and is fourth in the world in UCI points, with three top five finishes at the first three rounds of the World Cup.
Curtis White – another returning camper, White is one of the top juniors in the country. He placed tenth in Koksijde and finished second to Owen at both rounds of the Derby City Cup. He also won both UCI junior races in Cincinnati. Points in Europe are critical for White as he currently sits eighth in UCI points, which means he’s the last rider to get a front row start.
Nate Morse – in the three UCI races he’s done this season Morse has finished in the top five, including two podium appearances. Morse has competed in nearly two dozen races this year, finishing inside the top ten in almost all of them, including some elite races. Like White and Owen, Morse returns to camp eager to grab UCI points and race with Europe’s best.
Stephen Bassett – a Kentucky native, Basset would love to race in his home state in February. Bassett didn’t make the world’s team after camp last season, but has a shot this year. He has three top five UCI finishes and hasn’t finished outside the top ten at all this season.
Nick Torraca – when you think of cross, the state of Texas rarely comes to mind, but Torraca is looking to change that. He raced two rounds of the USGP and came home with a pair of top ten finishes. Torraca has half-a-dozen top ten finishes this year including a few podium appearances, virtually all of which came in elite races.
John Francisco – a Louisville native, Francisco would love to race in his hometown in February. He returns to camp for a second year and looks to build on the great season he’s had in the US this year. Francisco hasn’t finished outside the top ten in a junior races this year and had fared well in elite races. A solid trip to Belgium could take him to the next level and possibly make the world’s team.
Peter Goguen – Goguen has spent the season racing on the highly competitive New England circuit where he has taken overall honors in the Verge NECCS series. He has a handful of UCI points thanks to good results in Cincinnati and looks poised to make his first trip to Belgium count.
David Lombardo – Lombardo currently sits third in the USGP series and grabbed a UCI point with a fifth place at Harbin Park. In fact, this young Illinois native has only had one non top ten finish this season, most of which were in elite races.
Josey Weik – this young Minnesota native has spent most of the season racing highly competitive category two fields or UCI junior races. He’s regularly in the top ten in these races and has a few results in the elite ranks. This experience should be invaluable to Weik and should help him get to the next level.