The 2019/20 cyclocross season marks the Amy D. Foundation’s sixth season operating an Elite cyclocross development program.
As Amy Dombroski’s legacy, the foundation encourages and supports young women through cycling, inspiring the celebration of healthy challenge and empowering the confident pursuit of lofty dreams.
Amy D. Foundation Cyclocross Racing is a developmental cycling program that provides support for driven, talented women who strive to reach the highest level of competition within the sport. Its riders are provided with equipment, mechanical and logistical support and mentorship to better their chances of making the jump from Elite to professional.
Building Upon 2018/19 Successes
The 2018/19 season was one filled with positive changes for Amy D. Foundation Cyclocross Racing. Most significantly, the foundation graduated from partnering with other professional racing teams for ground support and mentorship and launched autonomously for the first time.
The foundation hired Mo Bruno Roy as Team Manager/Mentor to help in the process. Bruno Roy both managed logistics and provided mentorship to the team’s 2018/19 riders: Katherine (KK) Santos and Emily Werner.
After so many changes last year, Amy D. Foundation (ADF) made a conscious decision to hold steady this season, building upon last year’s momentum. Mo Bruno Roy returns to her role as Team Manager/Mentor. 2018/19 Elites, KK Santos and Emily Werner, will also rejoin the team for 2019/20.
This is the first year since the program’s inception that an open application process will not occur. The decision to retain Santos and Werner for another season is both developmental and reflective of cyclocross’ current economic climate. ADF acknowledges that rider development takes time. Likewise, few professional cyclocross teams exist in North America at the moment.
Bruno Roy explains, “We hope that by keeping racers for two seasons under our own autonomous model, we are able to offer a true Elite program that launches the riders to professional team opportunities.”
2019 Riders: KK Santos and Emily Werner
Riding for the Amy D. Foundation last season, Santos and Werner quietly gathered experience and made changes that leave them well-positioned for future growth and success. Amy D. Foundation is honored to continue to invest in them and support their development process.
The 2018/19 school year was Santos’ final year of college at Marian University, as well as her last year as a U23 cyclocross racer. The highlight of her season was her 11th place in the Saturday C1 at Cincinnati UCI Cyclocross Weekend. The result was an indication of what Santos is capable of on a good day.
Santos sums up her season as being one devoted to learning: “I developed more of my skills and worked on many of my weaknesses. I tried some new things in my training and still worked on balancing school and racing.”
Now that she’s a graduate, Santos no longer has to balance the dual commitments of school and cycling. While at Marian, Santos also supported her collegiate cycling team by racing road and mountain (including downhill), as well as cyclocross. While the multi-disciplined experience made Santos a more versatile rider, she looks forward to increased focus: “Since I’ve graduated, I am able to focus on just one discipline. My training this season can be super-focused. I am hoping I can make this season the best one yet. I’ll continue to work with my coach Drew Dillman and try to put in more miles than I ever have before.”
Santos is currently living and training in New York City. She is working as a summer intern with New York Life Insurance Company.
2018 was a year of transition for Emily Werner. She finished her dietetic internship in May 2018, freeing her to train full time in the lead up to the season. This increased focus on riding was so impactful that Werner resolved to take 2019 off from work to train full time.
She explains, “I am very excited about the upcoming ’cross season. I have had the entire spring to train and prepare, unlike last year where I was working full time completing my dietetic internship until May. I also began working with a new coach, and I am really happy with how that is going.”
Werner saw steady improvements and gained invaluable experiences last year: “My biggest successes were finally getting a C1 top 10 and also having consistently better results at the C2 level. Spending two months in Europe after Nationals was a huge highlight and growth experience. I feel like just surviving 12 races in Europe was a huge success.”
Professional Support and Mentorship
Amy D. Foundation, under the leadership of Bruno Roy, will offer professional-level, on-site support to Werner and Santos at six select team events this season. This support includes staff, equipment, host housing, transport and all equipment. The six events, listed below, include all the U.S. C1s. Bruno Roy explains, “We chose the few C1 events in the US this year (Rochester, Iowa and Cincy) and built a strong campaign around those races in terms of logistics and team representation at competitive events.”
Amy D. Foundation Racing Schedule
1. Rochester Cyclocross – Rochester, NY – September 7–8
2. Jingle Cross – Iowa City, Iowa – September 13–14
3. Cincinnati UCI Cyclocross – Mason, Ohio – October 26–27
4. Silver Goose and Pan-American Championships – Midland, Ont. – November 9–10
5. USA Cycling Cyclocross Nationals – Tacoma, WA – December 15
6. Sixth race weekend selection has not yet been finalized.
The racers will also participate in additional races throughout the season with remote staffing and logistics assistance from ADF.
As last year, Bruno Roy’s role is two-fold: manage the cyclocross program and mentor the athletes. As a mentor, Bruno Roy draws on both her background as an international cyclocross professional and her work as soigneur and muscular therapist. Santos describes Bruno Roy’s impact: “Mo’s race experience is invaluable. I learned a ton from her last season, including mental skills, like how to view a poor race as part of the process and move forward. I’m excited to learn more this year.”
Both Werner and Santos have long-term ambitions of securing a professional team contract. Each of them is quick to point out how Amy D. Foundation’s support has allowed them to chase this dream. Werner explains that a huge highlight of her 2018/19 season was “getting to race like a pro with full support and not having to worry about all the other stresses that come with racing on your own.”
Amy D. Foundation’s support of Santos during her U23 years has been a major influence on her life. She explains how ADF’s support has gone beyond the logistical and financial: “ADF means so much to me. They are my family. They have really gone out on a limb to give me so many opportunities. It is quite humbling. I owe them more than I can describe.”
Industry Partnerships and Community Support
Amy D. Foundation and its riders are grateful for the industry and community support that sustains our program.
The cyclocross athletes benefit from the continuity of returning equipment and kit sponsors. Santos and Werner will again be riding Donnelly’s C//C bike in “Amy D blue” with Shimano groupsets and FSA components. Amy’s former sponsor Lazer Sport has been with ADF since its inception and will provide helmets and eyewear for the riders. Pearl Izumi has redesigned the team’s distinctive blue and orange kit and will also supply shoes for the riders.
The following companies also provide significant and impactful support to Amy D. Foundation Cyclocross Racing: Rapha Foundation, BikeFlights.com, CarboRocket, Handlebar Mustache Apparel, Feedback Sports, Grimpeur Bros. Specialty Coffee, GiddyUP Film Tour, Clif Bar & Company, Bobo’s, Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods, Mad Alchemy, Pedro’s, Soulrun, iKOR Labs, VCGraphix, Horst Engineering and Headspace.
Much of the funding for Amy D. Foundation comes from community fundraisers and donations. Amy D. Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.