With apologies for starting off on a heavy note, we have to mention our young, local rider Amy Dombroski, who was tragically killed Oct 3 in a training accident in Belgium. Amy had won numerous U23 National titles in various cycling disciplines and always had a bright smile when she raced locally. She reliably had time to interact with junior riders, and led a number of Cyclocross clinics this summer (including a Women’s Only one which Kristal helped teach). To say the local community is in shock over this news would be an enormous understatement. It’s hard to fathom that someone so young and talented is gone forever. Our hearts go out to her family and friends.
There are numerous tributes pouring in on social media regarding Amy, and the consistent themes are her friendliness and determination. I hate the platitude that a person ‘died doing what they loved’, it’s meant to console those of us left behind, but most people would not choose to die in any way other than old. When you think about your own time coming to an end, what would you regret in that moment? Would you regret the things you never did, or the things you didn’t get to finish? There’s an important distinction between those two, because the latter indicates a life fully lived, no matter how long. It shows that you didn’t fear trying things and didn’t pass up opportunities. I think Amy left things unfinished, but she wasn’t afraid to do them, including racing Cyclocross professionally in the heartland of Belgium—the hardest venue in this sport, particularly for a woman. She died in the active pursuit of her dreams, and that’s what all of us can learn from her. THAT is a powerful legacy. Am
Junior Cross Camp, Storm the Castle, and Flatirons CX
Whew--the fourth weekend of the 2013/14 season was definitely the most jam packed! It started off with the BRAC Junior Cross Camp, held this year in Empire, Colorado. This is an awesome annual event held over 3 days/2 nights. This year it had 125 junior riders and dozens of adult volunteers and coaches. Kristal helped out Friday and Saturday before returning to the front range to hit the Storm the Castle race in Castlerock, the first nighttime cross race on the front range and just fourteen hours later, she would toe the line at Flatirons mall.
Junior Cross Camp
One of the guiding tenets of our team is to be a positive, motivating influence and work to grow the sport of cycling. What better way to do that than to send our reigning Master’s World Champion to help a group of avid young girls work on their cx technique! As a team, we also donated $500 towards the camp, sponsoring a cabin for the weekend. This was an incredibly well run and organized event (especially considering the number of kids!), and kudos definitely go out to everyone involved and Clint Bickmore and Deirdre Moynihan in particular for all the hard work setting it up. Nick also attended and had a great time, learning a lot. He and Kristal will both have this on their schedule for future seasons!
Storm the Castle
Originally, this weekend was slated to only have 1 race, since Cross Camp was running concurrently. As a result, it was scheduled to be a unique event, with the Open races held after dark on a lighted course. John Haley set up a great track for this, blending challenges of all types and very little time for recovery each lap. Unfortunately, the biblical rains a couple weeks back postponed the Flatirons race to Sunday, so a lot of people seemed to decide not to make the drive to Castlerock, keeping their powder dry for the race closer to home. It’s a shame, because this event was a great time!
Carl had a horrible race, with dead, sore legs and finished well off the pace. Errin, on the other hand, looked strong the entire time, finishing a solid 5th! Kristal made it down just over an hour before her race, enough time to get in a few preview laps and see that 9 time National Champion Katie Compton had come to race as well. Nonetheless, Kristal lined up and nailed the hole shot! She led until just after the first runup, when Katie came around and started slowly pulling away. By the end, Katie won by almost a half lap, with Kristal holding on to 2nd by over a minute.
We had raced only once previously at this venue, a large mall just outside Boulder. It offers up a mostly grass course with lots of elevation changes and plenty of parking! Still feeling weak, Carl decided to skip this race, but Kristal, Errin, and Rob all put their chips on the table.
Kristal led off, and she was the only rider in the SW Open who had also raced the previous night in Castlerock. Despite that, and a slow start, she made her way forward through the field. With 2 to go, she was in 4th and still moving up when she slid out on a turn and lost 2 places. She couldn’t regain them and ended in 6th with a strong, consistent ride.
Errin went off next, getting the hole shot in her race and riding strong and consistently throughout. She finished 8th on the day and leads the WOL SW4 cx series!
Rob’s Race Report
It’s been a difficult start to the 2013 cross season. My fitness is definitely worse than last year at this point, which makes sense in light of my hectic off-the-bike life this year. After badly injuring my arm and shoulder in a crash near the end of last season, the winter and spring were spent trying to regain some of the fitness I had lost.
In June I raced the Sunshine Hill climb just to confirm what I already knew about my lack of racing legs, and then attempted and failed to complete the 90 mile version of the Golden Grand Fondo later that month. I raced a duathlon in July, which went fairly well, and another duathlon at the end of August, also a decent result.
In my first cross race of the year, the weekend of the Colorado flo
oding, I finished near the back of the hyper-competitive 45 open category at the Zero Gravel event in Littleton. The following Thursday, after pre-registering for the Valmont race the night before, I tweaked my lower back while taking off my oversized and overstuffed commuting pack and had to sit out the weekend racing.
With my back feeling better, I raced the following Sunday at the Flatirons venue, a fun course that will hopefully become a fixture on the local circuit, and snapped my chain 20 minutes into the race. It happened right by the pit, which would have been great if I had bothered to put my pit bike there before the race.
Next up for me will likely be this Sunday at the Jeffco Fairgrounds. Good luck to the Rapid Racing crew up in Frisco on Saturday, always a popular course for reasons I have never understood.