amy alison dombroski

2012 Blogs



Winter came


Plzen, Czech Republic.

training with the A-team in a dry Plzen.
the focus is present but the form is yet to come.
Another cloudy day in Czech. They say, "just like Belgium but without the rain!" Not so much. 10 days in Czech and we didn't see the sun until the day we left. But in Belgium we see the sun every day. 
After Tabor World Cup I stayed with the U23 & Jr USA team for a few days in Tabor, then a few in Plzen. The A-Team was a quality group comprised of my mechanic, Ignace, the mechanic of the boys, Michel, the U23s Yannick and Cody, the Jr's Logan and Curtis, and Marc joined us in Plzen.  

There was much improvement in my head cold and by the time I arrived to Plzen I no longer needed a box of tissues by my side at all times. My energy was close to normal and I was able to get out for some training and exploring.  Plzen was like a maze to me and I had a very hard time orienting myself. Despite my halfwitted sense of direction I was able to manage an out-n'-back training ride which had me questioning if I had ridden back to Vermont; the foliage was thAt good. If you had replaced the coal smell in the air with the sweet smell of maple I would have been licking the trees to find sap and had my nose to the ground for the road back to Jericho. Of the A-team I was the only one who had been to Plzen the year prior and I was entirely useless, more than a little directionally challenged; "the course is that way" as I tossed my finger in the air in the direction of the non-existent sun.  Yannick was the team GPS and meteorologist and he guided us to the course on Thursday and what we saw couldn't have changed more come race day. On Thursday we scampered about on our road wheels and on Sunday we changed bikes every half-lap.  
Mister Meteorologist urged us to wake a bit earlier Friday morning so we could train before the weather turned on us. His timing was spot on as the weather dropped about 10 degrees and rain spat at us in the final kilometers of our training ride. The rain continued to fall through the day and it turned to snow for Saturday. Much more than our slick road wheels would be needed for the pre-ride. October had dressed up as December for Halloween and our mechanics would dress up in condoms.  Erm, I mean, in the closest thing they could get to a one piece rain proof piece of clothing. 
The mechanics were the real heroes of the weekend.  There's the Saturday recon clean up, then there's race day.  As far as I know everyone was changing bikes every half lap. I also heard there were only 5 power washers in the pits. Changing bikes every 4-5 minutes and that's a load of washing demand! It was cold, it was muddy and the mud was thick and heavy - I can only imagine the chaos of rider after rider demanding a clean bike lap after lap. I imagine the pit was war.  Once the racer crosses the finish line our war is finished, but for the mechanics it continues until mud speckles are erased from bikes, wheels, helmets, shoes.  And those mud speckles carry on into the camper, so our soigneurs have their own mud war as well.  To look after a racer is much harder a job than the racing in itself. 
My race was the second weekend of not what I hoped for. I thought my form was better than it is, but it simply isn't great and I have a lot of work to do. Fortunately this was only my 6th race and I do have many more races to come but it is still a disappointing reality. I'll tell you what is impressive - in the first lap I was on Katie Compton's wheel. I followed her into the first pit and heard her shout something about her bike. From there I tried to continue to follow her wheel. I tried, I failed. Katie won the race by 15 seconds and I finished 5 minutes off the pace, a half lap down. 
Consider me utterly blown away by the ability of the girls who kicked my arse these last 2 weekends. Back to work. Reassess. Train smarter. Be healthy. Koppenberg is Thursday. 

Check out for more candid photos throughout the winter.

Copyright © 2012 Amy Dombroski. All Rights Reserved.