Dombroski hears the call of the dirt

Amy Dombroski (Webcor Builders) had about a 15-second gap at the top of the first climb.

Amy Dombroski (Webcor Builders) had about a 15-second gap at the top of the first climb. (Image credit: Dave McElwaine/

Amy Dombroski of the Webcor Builders team, heard the call of the dirt on Friday when she won the Under 23 women's cross country race at the US Mountain Bike National Championships in Granby, Colorado. Dombroski won the woman-to-woman battle including her and defending champion Chloe Forsman (Luna). The two were together nearly the entire race, with a sprint finish determining the outcome.

After her win, she said, "I hope this is the start of more mountain bike racing. I love the mountain bike. I love the mountains, and I like dirt. I like dirt better than pavement, I think."

"I haven't done much mountain bike racing," confessed Dombroski. "I live in Boulder, so Colorado is my home state and I had some friends who live in (nearby) Winter Park, so I could crash with them. Since there's been a break in the road calendar for the past month, I did a lot of training on my mountain bike." Earlier this month, she raced to 10th in the Firecracker 50, the US Marathon National Championships.

"It's helped my time trialing for the road," she said of her off-road training.

Dombroski is already a cyclo-cross national champion. She's won three Under 23 championships (2006-2008). Last year, she was the Colorado state road racing champion and she finished third in both the Under 23 road and time trial championships.

She found her road experience useful on Friday. "I was on Chloe's wheel - trying to stay on there like glue. From road racing, I know there's always a little draft. It's not much in mountain biking, but it's something."

On Saturday, the day after winning the Under 23 mountain bike national championship, Dombroski headed with her road team to race a six-day stage race in the Cascades. After that she is headed to the US road national championships in Bend, Oregon.

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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews.  She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.