amy alison dombroski

2012 Blogs



First double weekend
of races...


Neerpelt and Kalmthout

Before I knew it one week had flown by, containing an overwhelming amount of chaos. Jet lag, my first official team presentation, my first Begijnendijk group ride of the winter, a plethora of clothing & equipment arriving, sorting bikes and wheels, settling into this new life...just a whole lot of little details that add up. Or maybe I'm just being the diva I am and I need to chill out and roll with it. Saturday morning arrived and I had my morning spin to the bakery before Pavla and I set off to Neerpelt. I was looking forward to seeing our campervan set up and it did not disappoint.  I really felt like a proper 'crosser with the tents set up printed with our pretty faces, turbos & power washers ready, mountains of wheels, a table spread with our rider cards & posters, support staff eager to help, and then of course a mini home on wheels to ready in, to stay warm in and to shower in. I am very lucky. It has been quite an experience already.

My excitement for the first race was billowing and the cloud soon popped at the very first corner when I went head over teacup, blowing my front row start and re-starting dead last. But the mechanics were shouting loud and I could see the bright green jackets of Telenet Fidea supporters spread throughout as I moved forward with vengeance. The course was fun, flowy, challenging, heavy. A lot of on & off the bike, a lot of steep up and downs, a lot to it - heavy.  It was reminiscent of some sandy but tacky trails I ride whilst home in Vermont. I eventually moved forward to 4th place but had no more matches to burn. My teammate, Nikki was already clear for the win and my other teammate, Pavla was battling Sanne Cant for 2nd. I just didn't have the energy in my legs to close quite a large gap and settled just off the podium in 4th. But I think it was a good first showing to the team and it was nice to see so many who run the team actually at the race watching. And what a treat to return to the team area and have a hot shower before spinning my legs out! 

C'mon legs in Kalmthout.

wanting revenge.

Kalmthout was Sunday and I had originally planned to skip it because the race organizer was only giving start money to Belgians in the race and I think this is disrespectful. In addition, I was still feeling travel effects and a bit unsettled. However, racing is addictive and I love it! I felt so near my first European podium finish in Neerpelt, and I think I could have been even closer had I not botched the first corner. I wanted revenge. Nikki had tasted victory and she wanted more, so we both decided to race Kalmthout. 

However, I underestimated how much Neerpelt had taken out of me and although my motivation was sky high, my legs were in the grave low. Kalmthout was a punchy course and a lot of fresh explosiveness was required, which I had certainly tapped out.  But I also knew that quite a few of the girls had been in Neerpelt also so I gave it my best try. My start was less than powerful and my race didn't improve much from there. I wanted to go harder and faster but it felt like I had a governor on my legs. Eventually I joined a group of 2, Joyce and Reza, and was able to dig a bit deeper. On the final lap Joyce attacked and I could only watch her ride away from us. I rolled across the line in 6th place, disappointed in my legs but knowing I need to be patient.

It was a hard weekend of racing and I know it will pay off soon! This Sunday is Ruddervoorde, which was my first Belgian race last season. 

Copyright © 2012 Amy Dombroski. All Rights Reserved.