The Amy D Foundation has chosen two riders to support for the coming 2016/18 cyclocross season. Christa Ghent, 27 of Lyons, CO, and Katherine (KK) Santos, 20 of Louisville, KY, will both be racing under the Amy D colors as the organization strives to increase its support for women in cyclocross.
For the past 3 years the Amy D. Foundation has supported a single rider through an entire cyclocross season: Erica Zaveta for 2014/15 and Rebecca Fahringer for both 2015/16 and 2016/17. The successes of these athletes, which included race wins, European experiences, a World Championship selection, and transition to professional cycling teams, demonstrates the credibility of the program in supporting the pursuit of lofty dreams. This year, the Amy D. Foundation grows the breadth of opportunity it provides by selecting two up and coming cyclocross athletes, helping more women in the sport achieve their dreams.
As in the 2016/17 season, the Stan’s NoTubes professional cyclocross team will be providing ground support for the Amy D Foundation riders. As a reflection of the success of the Amy D Foundation program, Rebecca Fahringer is managing the Stan’s NoTubes team and will be providing mentorship and guidance for the new riders as well as racing professionally alongside them.
“I am really excited to still get to be involved with the Amy D Foundation programming,” reflected Fahringer. “The program did so much for me over the past 2 seasons, I am excited to see it grow and expand its support to new riders. I am also excited to start to give back, while also learning the new role of team manager. In theory, I should say “mentor” but I know that I will learn just as much from these two ladies as they may learn from me.”
Christa, like Amy D, was a highly competitive alpine ski racer from a young age before years of injury and nine knee surgeries took her out of world-level competition. Still striving to satisfy her competitive spirit, she started cycling with the Colorado University cycling team as a sophomore in college. In 2015, Christa actually participated on the road in the USA Pro Challenge as a part of the Amy D Foundation composite team. Christa said the experience “gave her a great idea of what it would be like to be on a professional team without the season long commitment”. She also learned that her passion was not on the road, but instead, in cyclocross. Already a winning contender in the local Colorado scene, she has also found success at the UCI level reaching into the top 10 multiple times. Her goals for the season is to gain more experience and find higher levels of success in this higher level of racing. Also a Marketing Director at CableLabs, the support of the Amy D Foundation will allow Christa to pursue both her professional and athletic careers without sacrificing either.
“Racing for the Amy D Foundation would mean I could chase my personal goals, while providing a solid role model to developing women that hard work and dedication does pay off, even if you suffer set backs on the way to your goals.”
KK is a junior at Marian University where she is studying Marketing and Entrepreneurship. Having won the 17/18 National championships in 2014 and 8th in the under-23 category in a competitive field at cyclocross nationals in Hartford, CT, KK is looking for the U23 podium this year, as well as to qualify for the world championships team.
“I am excited to spread the word about the Amy D Foundation both on and off the bike,” explained KK. “I intend to follow and continue the legacy that Amy left behind. I hope to inspire female cyclists and encourage progression among junior cycling in the U.S. As a rider for the Amy D Foundation, I will be more than just an athlete at a bike race, I will be the link to an athlete that inspired her entire community and portrayed an utmost love for her bike. This year I will be racing for her. I believe the foundation can provide the platform for building myself as an athlete on and off the bike. With the backing of the Amy D Foundation, I will be more prepared for racing at an elite level. I will have an opportunity unlike any I have ever had before. I am excited to learn and grow alongside the Amy D team.”
Fahringer states that “Both of these riders have really strong ambitions in cycling, both competitively and culturally: they want to be involved with the development of juniors and women in the sport. I think that these women will represent the Foundation well both on and off the bike: working hard and achieving their dreams.”
The latest evolution of the Amy D. Foundation cyclocross programming will set the stage for a positive circle of development, where athletes that excel in the environment continue to be involved and contribute to the success of another generation. It’s a big picture vision that, over time, will contribute in a positive way to the sport as a whole.
Direct expenses to support Christa and KK through the season are covered by Amy D. Foundation fundraising efforts. In addition to Stan’s NoTubes, the program also receives significant support from industry partners Lazer Helmets, Scott Bicycles, Maxxis Tires, Shimano, Pearl Izumi, and Bikeflights.com.
The Amy D. Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit created in memory of Amy Alison Dombroski, who tragically passed away in a training accident in 2013. The organization works to support the dreams and aspirations of women in the sport through programming that builds participation, equality, and opportunity. Donations to the Amy D. Foundation support the programming and are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. See amydfoundation.org to learn more.