American Amy Dombroski has signed with the Luna Pro Team for the 2010 season. Fresh off a third place at the elite women's US Cyclo-Cross National Championships this weekend in Bend, Oregon, she is looking forward to a mix of mostly off-road racing next year.
"I'll be doing mostly mountain bike races with a few road races here and there. Then we'll be hitting cyclo-cross really hard again," said the current Under 23 women's cross country national champion to Cyclingnews. She is also a three-time Under 23 Cyclo-cross national champion and the Under 23 road race national champion.
Dombroski's move to the Luna team, means she will join up with some new teammates who are accomplished international riders like American Georgia Gould, Czech Katerina Nash and Canadian Catharine Pendrel on the racing circuit. "I'm so excited to be racing with them."
"My focus will be more domestic. I think Catharine and Georgia will be doing full mountain bike UCI World Cup schedule. Katerina and I will do a few road events, too. With mountain biking, I'll be trying to get my foot in the door."
Despite being a current mountain bike national champion, Dombroski doesn't have that much experience racing her mountain bike. "My experience was mostly just dabbling. I was riding [as a professional road racer] for Webcor, and that was my first pro team experience. When I was feeling burned out on the road, I'd get on my mountain bike. Before this summer, I had only done a handful of mountain bike race, but every time I did it, I'd have a big grin on my face."
"I thought, 'If I'm having this much fun racing my mountain bike, why not give it a shot?'. When I found out that nationals were in Colorado, and I had a break in my road season, it was a perfect opportunity."
Dombroski moves up to the elite ranks full-time for 2010, when she'll compete in many of the top US national-level cross country races, select international events and cyclo-cross nationals. She's also expected to race events like the Breck Epic mountain bike stage race and the Iceman Cometh cross country race.
Cyclingnews caught up with Dombroski as she was travelling home to do laundry the day after cyclo-cross nationals and one day before heading back on the road. The rising star observed that she's still learning from every race.
"I feel like almost every weekend was a breakthrough," she said. "Going into 'cross nationals, I wanted to race well and race a good race. I had confidence that I could get a podium spot, but it's never a given. I was happy with my race, although disappointed with some of the mistakes that I made. I crashed and then I kind of panicked and then everything went down the drain with that. But you have to find the learning experience in every race."
The Boulder resident leaves tomorrow for several weeks of cyclo-cross racing in Europe. "I'll be over in Belgium until the end of the year and perhaps longer, depending on how races go. Worlds is still up in the air." It'll be her second time racing in Europe; she travelled there two years ago for one World Cup and the Worlds.
"I don't have a lot of experience. I'm excited to see how it all goes."