Friends, family remember Boulder pro-cyclist Amy Dombroski
By Amy Bounds/Camera Staff Writer
10/06/2013 10:11:12 PM MDT
Boulder pro cyclocross racer Amy Dombroski was memorialized by friends and fellow cyclists Sunday at Boulder's Valmont Bike Park, where about a dozen speakers talked about her intensity as a racer and open hearted nature as a friend.
"Amy is awesome and how lucky are we that we know her," said her friend, John Shippey.
Dombroski, 26, was killed Thursday when she was hit by a truck while on a training ride in Sint-Katelijne-Waver, Belgium, according to a statement released by her Belgian team, Telenet-Fidea.
She had won multiple cyclocross national titles, as well as national titles in road cycling and mountain biking.
Sunday, friends laughed and cried together as they shared stories and read some of the poetry that Dombroski had written, including a poem she wrote when she was 16 after her mother died suddenly.
Chellie Terry, who lives in Boise, remembered her friends dedication to those she loved. She described her as an old soul who could also be goofy and crazy.
"Nothing was half way," she said. "It was all or nothing for her."
Dombroski grew up alpine ski racing in Vermont and attended Burke Mountain Academy, a boarding school for ski racers.
She moved to Steamboat Springs after graduating from high school to pursue ski racing, but injured her knee. Dombroski moved to Boulder, where her older brother Dan Dombroski lived, and began riding a bike to rehab her knee.
She competed in her first bike race in May 2006, and later that year, Dombroski won her first under-23 national title in cyclocross, a cold-weather cycling discipline in which riders dismount their bikes and carry them over obstacles.
She added two more under-23 cyclocross national titles in 2007 and 2008, and went on to win under-23 national titles in road cycling and mountain biking in 2009.
"She was one of the most fiery competitors I've ever seen," said her coach, Russell Stevenson. "She just didn't ever quit. She didn't know what quit means. She worked really, really hard."
This was Dombroski's second season living and racing in Belgium full time, and many friends said she was on the cusp of winning on the international cyclocross stage.
Dave Towle, a race announcer and friend, said she maintained her core values -- loving people, being kind and trying to make the world a better place -- even as she became one of the most well-known cyclocross racers in the country.
Friends said she was passionate about working with kids and newcomers to the sport. At Sundays memorial, her sister-in-law, Nicole Novembre, urged her friends to continue encouraging newcomers as a way to keep her memory alive.
"We need to hold on tight to her as much as we can and hold on tight to each other," she said.