At twenty-six years old Amber Rais is starting her second season with the women's Webcor-Platinum Professional Cycling Team. Her life had taken her in many unexpected directions before becoming a rising star in North American cycling. Rais had just completed in Merced's first 2007 NRC event when Cyclingnews' reporter Kirsten Robbins caught to find out what led her into the sport of cycling and what lies ahead.
Relatively unknown to fans outside the San Francisco 'Bay Area' where she lives, Rais has been racking up solid results at the national level after taking up bike racing relatively late in life. Like many racers, the sport became an obsession, and quickly took over her previous academic and acquatic way of life. In addition to racing, this ambitious woman will be writing a diary for Cyclingnews during the 2007 season, giving a glimpse what it takes to develop into a professional road cyclist with aspiration of the world championships and an Olympic dream.
"I think adding a personal side to my diary and giving people an idea of what the lifestyle is like as a rider is important," Rais said. "I want to blend a personal side of a cyclist to what it is like being a cyclist on the road and provide behind the scene anecdotes to the life of a cyclist - my life."
After just two seasons of racing, she has her sights set on European racing, becoming a member of the US national worlds team and eventually aiming for the Olympics. "My big picture goals are to be a top international stage racer," Rais said. "I want to get to Europe and be a stage racer there. I eventually want to medal at the world championships and Olympics. But I am focused on my short-term goals first and it can be over whelming and daunting to think ahead so far.
Read the full interview with Amber Rais.