amy alison dombroski

2009 Blogs

With a final weekend at home before the final hoorah in Oregon, consisting of the closing USGPs in Portland, then Nationals in Bend, I was happy to drive to a local 'cross race.  I had intended to race the women's open, and follow that up with the men's 35+ race, but I was too knackered from the week's training, and after the women's race decided to drink a hot chocolate and head home instead! 

It was an early and brisk start.  The venue was an hour drive away, starting at 9:40am.  I had the heat cranked as I drove south of Denver with the rising sun in my eyes.  It was one of those mornings when you can't wait to get on your bike to get the blood flowing and warm-up.  The course was similar to ' grass around plush soccer fields.  However, this course was a bit more divided up, as there were two sand sections and a bit of fast pavement.  It made use of some off-camber sections, short and punchy climbs, and rail-able turns.  The sandpit leading into the final 200m finish was definitely rideable, while the one prior to that was questionable.  The Alpha CX Team put on a great race, a fun atmosphere, and equal pay to men and women!  Thanks!

The ACA 'cross schedule has been such that the 45+ men start 1-min in front of the women.  With 30-50 men on a given race day, you always have a carrot in front of you.  And those guys are fast - Bruce Hodgkins, owner of my shop-sponsor Excel Sports took the W, trouncing on the pedals and competition.  1-minute after the men started, our whistle was blown and Alison Dunlap nabbed the hole shot with me on her wheel.  After 200m of pavement, the course took a hard left onto the grass.  I heard the screeching brakes behind me, and knew girls were jockeying for position.  As soon as I got a chance, I put the hammer down, attacking Alison on the first punch. However, my usual snap was a bit sluggish, and Alison was on me like white-on-rice.  This separated the field as Alison and I broke off and began meandering through the men's field.  It was like a grassy-crit, not many technical aspects to lose time out of if you were 2nd wheel, so drafting was an advantage.  Throughout the 6-laps, Alison and I took our turns on the front, sometimes trading blows against another, but both able to cover and sit.  Through the aforementioned questionable sand section, I would ride every lap while Alison would run.  It was a toss-up over which was faster or more efficient; Alison could come around me if I hit the sand first, but my being in the pedals as she was re-mounting meant that I could hit the gas quicker. 

On the final lap I decided to switch things up a bit, because surprises are always exciting!  In that sand pit I dismounted and planted my attack in a foot-sprint.  After one of the quickest re-mounts and clip-ins I have ever done, I went apesh*t and little by little increased my gap to Alison, holding onto it for the win. 

Thank you to Primus Mootry, Schlamm, Clement, Excel Sports, Ollett Coaching, Reynolds, SRAM, FSA, TRP, Oakley, KneadEd, I/O Bio Merino, Pearl Izumi, AceCo Sports Group, Ritchey, Lazer, Hudz, Rotor Components, USWCDP, pHit Pills.

Copyright © 2012 Amy Dombroski. All Rights Reserved.