Rider Diaries

Rider Diary: Leif Bryan from Europe Cyclocross Trip 2022

Below is a quick slideshow from Leif Bryan’s trip with EuroCross Academy In December 2022.

Above photo: Start of Super Prestige Diegem. The starts here in Belgium are intense and aggressive because everyone wants to position themselves well and move up as much as possible in the short start straights. Photo credit: @thefergdog

This photo above is from the climb at Diegem. Every lap we would do about a minute of climbing up a cobbled street in the town of Diegem going from the lower plaza to the top of the course. The rain was falling pretty constantly at this point in the race and some of the sections on the course were pretty slick and difficult to ride. The climb was one of my best sections of the course and I often passed people going up it. Photo credit: @thefergdog

The “Whoops” at X2) Trofee Loenhout. The most unique feature at Loenhout are the man made turf whoops. A series of bumps placed one after another to form a sort of pump track feature. The section itself isn’t particularly enjoyable to ride on my long 58cm cross bike but certainly is an iconic part of the course. Photo credit: @thepenultimatestage

EuroCross Academy training ride in the Lichart Forest. Between races we go for recovery rides to spin out the legs and practice Euro specific cross riding skills. In this photo we were at the preferred training grounds of pros like Wout Van Aert and many others. The soil we rode was super sandy and the ruts were very deep and tricky to ride. Photo credit: Coach Roger

This is a photo of me with cycling legend Wout Van Aert. We saw him pre-riding his home course, Herentals,  the day before the race. One of my goals for the trip was to get a photo with Wout and I am very happy with this photo. Photo credit: Ian Brown

Above is a photo from the Sven Nys GP. This was the muddiest race we had done so far and the conditions were warm but very heavy mud. In the race the most important thing was to consider when to run and when to keep riding. In the photo I chose to get off earlier than the people around me and I ended up passing my teammate Henry Rapinz  and another rider.. Photo credit: @thepenultimatestage

This is a photo from a recovery ride with the ECA team in Belgium. James, Haylee, Elsa, Ian, Hank and I rode from our team house in Vorselaar to a nearby castle. The castle is private property so we couldn’t go in but it was still fun to see.

During one of our rest days, we walked from our house to the local supermarket to purchase Belgian foods, such as waffles and chocolate. It is often raining here so we often have to bundle up but it is always fun to explore parts of the town we are in.