One of the most prominent clips of Boulder-based cyclocross racer Amy Dombroski declares that she had become a rock star -- and that's precisely how she was viewed locally and internationally. Her effervescent personality was matched by grit exemplified by the number of pics in which her face is spattered by mud.
Dombroski's joy only makes her death yesterday in Europe that much more difficult to grasp. Look below to learn more about the incident and get a sense in photos and videos of why she'll be missed so enormously.
Dombroski is originally from Vermont, and as she rose in the ranks of cyclocross, a sport conducted on terrain so rough that participants must carry their bikes over areas that defy pedaling, she was acutely aware that women athletes have special obstacles to overcome at all levels, as is clear from the most recent blog post on her website, AmyDombroski.com. Here's how it starts:
Inequality is something female cyclists continue to be faced with. Racing primarily in Belgium, it is even more prevalent. When I heard hints of my hometown Jericho VT girls, Lea and Sabra Davison promoting a Pro XCT mountain bike race at Catamount with equal prize money (and then more prize money for the women thanks to G Form!) I was filled with desire to be there. Looking at dates of our team camp in Austria, team photos in Belgium and the Pro XCT in VT, it was proving quite difficult to sort because dates were overlapping. In another inequality story altogether team camp didn't happen for the women on Telenet Fidea and I was able to avoid flying half way across the world for a single day of photos. And so, a week prior to the Pro XCT my early August suddenly became much more free and I could come home to Jericho, hang with my dad and get in a good couple weekends of mountain bike racing!
As noted by the Boulder Daily Camera in a fine remembrance piece, Dombroski won the national cyclocross title for racers under age 23 in 2006, and continued to rack up victories over the years that followed.
More recently, she became a member of the Belgium-based Telent-Fidea cyclocross team -- and she was training in Belgium when she was killed in a tragic traffic accident.
Here's the team's official release about her passing, its occasional awkwardness owing to Google's translation tool:
Amy Dombroski deceased after serious accident during speed training behind the scooter
Terrible news in Young Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team: Amy Dombroski is deceased after a serious training accident today. Amy did a speed workout around 16h00 behind the scooter when a collision occurred in Begijnendijk between Betekom and Werchter with a truck. The driver of the motorcycle escaped miraculously to the accident. For Amy was hit so hard that she has succumbed.
Amy is 26 years. She was born and grew up in Jericho, Vermont and lived since last year in Boulder, Colorado. She was engaged to motocross rider Ryan Rozinsky. Especially for the team presentation of TFCT YTFCT and she was about to fly from America where ten days ago she won a contest Tuesday. Amy was a very likeable young woman with lots of ambition. She had worked hard in recent months to its power and speed to the top of the women's cyclocross.
Manager Hans van Kasteren, YTFCT Chairman Corne Lepoeter, team leader Kris Wouters, all riders and staff TFCT and YTFCT offer the family of Amy their sincere feelings of compassion.
We, too, send our condolences to Dombroski's friends, family and loved ones. As noted by the Camera, donations are being accepted for Dombroski and her family at Boulder's Pro Peloton Cyclery or mailed to Memorial of Amy Dombroski, c\o Wells Fargo Deposits, 1242 Pearl Street, Boulder.
Look below to see screen captures of photos from Dombroski's Facebook page, followed by a slew of videos that capture her spirit -- including the one declaring her a rock star.
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More from our News archive circa November 2012: "Gelseigh Karl-Cannon, recent Columbia grad, ID'd as cyclist killed in Cherry Creek North."