Nearly two years ago, Amy Dombroski was tragically taken from the cycling community. She was an American cyclocross racer with such rare talent that she was able to compete for full seasons overseas in Europe. Her candid sense of humor was prevalent at all times, and a smile rarely left her face.
The Amy D. Foundation was created in her memory, with its major goal to help aspiring female cyclists and help them achieve lofty goals. One of its projects, the Amy D. Racing program, has selected Rebecca Fahringer as its second recipient of an elite race sponsorship for the 2014-15 cyclocross season. A press release from the Amy D. Foundation can be found below:
Golden, Colorado – August 10, 2015 – The Amy D. Foundation has chosen Rebecca Fahringer for a sponsored ride under the Amy D. Racing program for the 2015/16 cyclocross season. Fahringer is 26 years-old and finished 15th at January’s elite U.S. cyclocross championships after just two seasons of racing.
The Raleigh Clement Professional Cyclocross Team will host and support Fahringer to compete on the USA Cycling Professional Cyclo-cross Calendar (Pro CX) circuit. WickWërks, Clement Cycling, Raleigh Bicycles, Lazer Sport, TRP Brakes, and BikeFlights sponsor the program.
“Amy D. Racing is designed to support a young woman that clearly has the passion, talent, and drive that my sister Amy possessed. We also look for an athlete who, with full support, could reach a new level in her cycling career,” says Dan Dombroski, co-founder of the Amy D. Foundation with Nicole Novembre.
“We see that kind of potential in Rebecca. She’s set up her life for extreme focus this season and that was a huge factor in selecting her from the pool of applicants.”
Now residing in Concord, New Hampshire, Fahringer grew up in Ohio, waitressing and mucking out barn stalls to keep her horse. As a top flight student she also ran track and cross country. She moved on to triathlons while at the University of Dayton and after graduating settled in to earn a Ph.D. in Geological Sciences at Brown University.
At graduate school Fahringer turned her attention to cycling. She had raced on the road for one season when she learned of Amy Dombroski’s fatal accident in October 2013. It was the first time she’d heard the cyclist’s name.
“The passion of the cyclocross community really struck a chord with me, and I mourned as if I had lost a friend,” Fahringer wrote in her application to the foundation.
The following weekend she pedaled to 31st place in her first ‘cross race while envisioning a mud-splattered Amy Dombroski in action. She advanced to cat 3 after three races.
Upon completing a master’s degree in May 2014, she made a decision that echoed Amy Dombroski’s adventurous spirit. The longtime student dropped academics to chase a career in cyclocross.
Last season she won the category 3 race at Rapha Super Cross Gloucester as a JAM Fund / NCC team member and advanced to a cat 1 classification following ‘cross nationals in January. Alongside odd jobs to cover expenses, she’s been practicing aggressive pack riding in criteriums – and winning, honing technical skills by mountain biking, and working with her coach on starts. She’s set high ambitions for the long term: being competitive in Europe and wearing the stars and stripes jersey.
Shifting focus from geological science to cycling hasn’t come without qualms.
“I have completely aligned my life towards being a successful bike racer, which is terrifying on a day-to-day basis. But having a great support system and being driven by my desire to be good is what pushes me through.”
Fahringer took aim at the Amy D. Racing opportunity to fight for the podium at the highest level as well as to inspire young athletes by sharing her experiences with honesty and transparency. She will use her blog, gofahr.com, Instagram (@gofahr) and Twitter (@gofahr) as platforms.
“I think showing that the best riders succeed through hard work and are still real people can inspire young fans or development riders to set high goals and chase their dreams,” Fahringer says. “It helps me to know my heroes have been nervous about gnarly courses, had bad days on the bike, or just want to eat tubs of ice cream some days, and then they can turn around be at the top of their game.”
For this season her goals include a UCI podium spot and top 10 finish at the national championships. The newly sponsored rider is looking forward to her first outing in the Amy D. Racing kit at Full Moon Vista – Ellison Park Cyclocross Festival.
“Being selected for the Amy D. Racing program is really an honor. It means the foundation believes I will represent them well on and off the bike, which is hugely flattering. It means I will have the support I need to do my best, which is such a relief. This selection will really make sure I hold myself to the highest standards possible, and I am excited to see what the season brings.”
The upcoming Pro CX series marks the Amy D. Racing program’s second year of assisting a promising young female rider to advance in cyclocross. In its 2014/15 debut, the project helped launch Erica Zaveta to her first UCI win.
About the Amy D. Foundation
The Amy D. Foundation is a nonprofit organization created in honor of Amy Alison Dombroski whose love for cycling and life touched many people around the world. The organization encourages and supports young women through cycling, inspiring the celebration of healthy challenge and empowering the confident pursuit of lofty dreams. Learn more about the foundation, donate, and order merchandise at amydfoundation.org.