amy alison dombroski

2010 Blogs

Vegas…writing the word makes me uncomfortable.  The V is a rough letter, the pronunciation of it is shrill and it is pointy like the lights and noise that IS Las Vegas.  The ringing in my ears, the hoarseness of my throat, the dryness and irritability in my nose, the germs crawling on my hands, the heaviness and swollen achiness of my feet and legs, the over stimulation of my squinting eyes.  I love Vegas, because it is so bright you need to wear sunglasses at night, because when you’re cool the sun is always shining.  

Not gonna lie, I dislike Vegas with a passion.  But I’ll try to keep my bitchin’ n’ moanin’ at bay.  Tuesday night we arrived and I met up with my friendly Brits for dinner at StripBurger.  Exactly as it sounds.  Dan drove his new-old 1969 shag-wagon bus from Colorado and it actually made it.  Hilariously awesome.  By 10pm I was beyond ready for sleep but Vegas was just waking up to smell the Irish coffee.  

The next morning we were due to meet the Luna crew in the Luna Sport booth.  We received some new Luna merino tees (very soft and hip looking – check them out at and mosied along to thank the sponsors and do autograph signings.  First however, it was a product launch for Clif’s new gels which are amaaazin’.  Try the new chocolate cherry, instead of choking them down you’ll be reaching for another.  At 4:30pm we were able to sneak away to the venue for CrossVegas.  Waldek was racing the Industry Cup at 7pm and our race was 8:30pm.  

Chris and stand-in mechanic Russ Folger of Organic Mechanic had been at the venue all day setting trailer up and dialing our bikes in.  We had a huge cheering and support crew of Clif and Luna so the pressure was on!  Everything about CrossVegas seemed better this year though.  It was cooler, the grass was harder, and my morale was cheerier.  As much as I dread coming to Vegas (did you know that?), as soon as you enter Desert Breeze soccer complex as night is beginning to fall and industry, racers and fans are trickling in, it turns into something more; more than the sum total of being a “professional cyclist”.  We’re all bike racers at heart, and that’s what makes this silly living possible is the fact that we ALL really love pedaling a bicycle.  There are legends at the race – those who have made a huge name for themselves.  There are those who are trying to become something – those who are following the path of their favorite legend.  There are the men and women who wish they could ride their bike more, but instead are the brains behind what we are pedaling today.  There are those who sit in a cubicle 70% of the year and used their vacation days to just be a part of this race that has become the homecoming of cyclocross.  That’s what makes it special.  I am a selfish bike racer and that is all put aside for these days in Vegas.  Yes, I showed up to race a fast race, but that wouldn’t be possible without each and every drunken body within the fences at Desert Breeze.


And so with the spirits aflowin’ I’d say I rode a fast race.  I had no idea where my fitness would be after quite a bit of time off the bike (more than I am used to).  So I decided to aim for a good start and not open any gaps.  Within the first few minutes of the race the initial selection had been made with Mary M driving the pace, and me and my 2 teammates Georgia and Katka in the mix.  A lot of people have asked what our teamwork is like, but there aren’t any sit-down plot & discuss times.  We’re all out there looking to ride fast and to win.  In the end of course I would rather see my teammate win, but each Luna-clad member is there to push the limits with the ultimate goal of climbing to the top step for a smooch from Elvis.  When it came down to the race, Katerina was the strongest, breaking away solo from Georgia, Mary and myself.  In the final lap I put in an attack on the far side, which I view as the most challenging part of the course.  It is an uphill kicker in the deepest of grasses which turns left into a false flat drag.  After sprinting up the hill it was all I could do to just keep the pedals turning over and I was narrowly able to hold off Mary for second place.  Mary rode a brilliant race, in a tough spot with 3 Luna riders.  I hope to see her out at more ‘cross races because she brings a true friendliness onto the start line mixed with the guts and determination to drop everyone.

And with a twinkle in my eye and a twinge in my heart I am happy to say the real season has begun.

Copyright © 2012 Amy Dombroski. All Rights Reserved.