Making the Worlds Team Cut – A Column by Amy Dombroski
Amy Dombroski can breathe a sigh of relief – she’s made the selection for the American Worlds team and will have a chance to go toe-to-toe against the world’s best in search of the coveted rainbow stripes. Read on as Dombroski reflects on “making the cut.”
I’ve been on all sides – thinking I deserve a spot on the Worlds team and not receiving it, thinking there’s no way I’d make the team and earning a spot, and earning an automatic bid, unsure if I actually wanted to race. This year I planned the end of my MTB season and my entire ’cross season around being on form at Worlds. Sometimes, a lot of times, things don’t unfold according to plan, and my ’cross season was no aberration. It was plagued with ups and downs: when it was good, it was very good, but when it was bad, it was a lemon wedge. After an extremely disappointing Nationals, I went back to Boulder and enjoyed a lovely Christmas with my family and even had some turns in the amazingly good early Colorado snow. We even touched on our Polish roots for Christmas dinner and made pierogies. It was a great couple weeks, and I stayed motivated with the happiness of my season still continuing. Heading over to Europe two days after Christmas, however, I knew I had to prove myself at the three races prior to the Worlds selection. My prior race reports tell the story of these races. See also Amy’s reports about her racing in Petange and Tervuren as well as the Swiss GP 5 Sterne Region.
As the Europeans will be racing their National Championships this weekend, I have until Jan 16th until my next race. So Dan Ellmore invited me to his home in Lincoln, England for the break away from racing to enjoy some dogs (dogs make life better), a training partner and a comfortable house to vegetate in. The Worlds Team selection was due yesterday, Jan 7th, but as England’s day begins seven hours ahead of Colorado’s day, I knew I’d probably be hearing near my bedtime.
Last night, 9pm was fast approaching with no news. Dave Towle asked me to be his inaugural guest on The Winner’s Circle, his new interview podcast on his website, www.davetowle.com. Just as he clicked the record button, Cyclocross Magazine tweeted the selections, and I think I stopped breathing until I saw my name in bold letters. I made it – along with a stellar crew of Compton, Sue Butler, Mer Miller, and Kaitlin Antonneau.
Phew…the pubs would have been littered with a belligerent American if I hadn’t been selected. It would have been a rough blow after having planned the trip and the season around it. However, “what if” is fact now, and I’ve set my season, training, breaks and racing up well. My motivation is still burning bright – unlike last year where I buried all my riding attire and hid my bikes – and I have two important World Cups on tap, Jan 16th and 23rd, Pontchateau and Hoogerheide. Thank you all for your support through the lulls and highs of this season; it is your belief during the lows that keeps me digging. I look forward to racing under the US flag for the next few weeks with all of you embers in the fire.
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