When I moved to the US, almost a year ago, I began to see the recognizable and pretty blue and orange kits that the Amy D Foundation riders use in important races such as Colorado Classic, Joe Martin and Redlands. This team spiked my curiosity because I saw that they had a different roaster of riders for every race so I wanted to learn more about what it was about. I learned that the Amy D Team is actually a foundation created in honor of Amy Dombroski a great professional cyclist who passed away while training in Belgium. The foundation now supports young females like myself to pursue our dreams in this though but amazing sport by giving us the opportunity to be a member of the composite team for a race and represent Amy and her legacy. A few weeks later after learning about the Amy D Foundation, I saw on a media post that they were receiving applications for 3 single day races in Boise, Idaho from July 13-15th and I immediately applied. The weekend consisted of a new time trial event called Chrono Kristin Armstrong which is a UCI 1.2 event, the Boise Twilight Cirterium which is part of the USA Crits Series, and the Chicken Dinner Road Race. I was thrilled when I received the email telling me I had been selected to represent the foundation that weekend in Boise and without a doubt I accepted.
Arriving to Boise was exciting in many aspects. First, it was great to meet Desiree, Katheryn, and Scott our team staff for the weekend and without whom this would not have been possible, the host family of the house where we were staying who were very welcoming, and finally I was excited to meet my new teammates for the weekend. Upon our arrival we also received the pretty blue and orange kits from Pearl Izumi, two helmets and a pair of sunglasses from Lazer, and some delicious drink mix from CarboRocket to keep us hydrated in the 100 degree weather.
Even though I am not the strongest in time trials, I decided to give it a try and race the three events since I wanted to represent Amy D the best way possible. Racing a UCI Time Trial was very intimidating and rewarding at the same time. I was scared to race against some of the best time trial specialists of the country and the world but at the same time I was very proud of myself for not letting that fear overtake my mind and I gave it my best. Doing the TT left me with a lot of positive learning lessons for upcoming events, a great racing experience, and finally with the hunger and adrenaline to race the next two days.
The Boise Twilight Cirterium took part in the streets of downtown Boise with a huge crowd of spectators surrounding every meter of the fast 4 corner course. Just as the day before, we had our Amy D tent set up with Feedback Sports rollers to warm up and get the legs ready for a fast and furious race.
Racing a crit with five teammates is as awesome as it sounds. Amy D Foundation was very active during the entire race by setting a hard pace, chasing the break, and spiriting for primes. Every time I found myself in the back of the pack, I would move up to the front and find my teammates. Throughout the race, we also encouraged and took care of each other. Racing together as one, gave me an extra boost of confidence and adrenaline. I even surprised myself riding at the front of the pack several times and taking the turns as fast as I could because I liked how the announcers kept on repeating “the Amy D Foundation” on the microphone. When the race was over, we all had huge smiles and felt so happy even though we did not win because we gave our best to make the race fun and aggressive working as a team.
On Sunday, the Chicken Dinner Road Race took place. Nobody knew anything about this race. except that it would be a 63 mile race in temperatures that exceeded 100 degrees. On the first lap there weren’t any type of attacks or aggressive riding because the entire peloton was doing a course recon. We found out that at the end of each lap there was a steep climb where eventually all the damage was made. On the second lap, attacks started coming from everywhere and I was very active covering them with the hopes of eventually getting on a break. On the third lap the field was already completely shattered. I found myself in the first chase group with Anna and with the help of other riders and a lot of hard work we were able to chase the break back. Unfortunately for us, there was a counterattack right away and even though we fought and pedaled as hard as we could, we did not make it to the new break which was the winning break. By the end of the third lap, 50% of the field had already abandoned the race and as much as I also wanted to quit because it was so hot and so hard, the Amy D sticker I had on the top tube of my bike reminded me that I had to keep pedaling. On the last lap, Anna and I worked together by rotating, encouraging each other, and dreaming about the ice cream we would have at the end of the race. We crossed the finish line together in 8th and 9th place. After finishing, I was so surprised to find out that out of the 50 women, including 3 Olympians, only 16 riders finished counting three Amy D Riders: Anna, Ryan and myself.
I general, the experience was great. My teammates Tori, Marta, Jane, Ryan, and Anna are amazing people with the same goals and aspirations as I do. Des, Scott, and Katheryn helped us with cooking, laundry, bike maintenance, logistics, and everything else so we the riders only had to worry about racing. I am very grateful with the Amy D Foundation for giving me and all the women that have passed through the program the opportunity to be able to race at the highest level in the country. This weekend will always be in my heart.