Amy Thornquist to Join DNA for 2014
26 September 2013
Amy Thornquist is announcing she will ride for DNA Cycling in the 2014 season. A convert from triathlons and in just her second year of bicycle-racing, the 40-year old is taking advantage of a massive opportunity to test her mettle against some of the nation’s best Women bicycle racers.
Earlier this year, Thornquist introduced herself to DNA Cycling p/b Plan7 as a guest rider at the 2013 Cascade Cycling Classic.
“I had signed up for Cascade to go up there alone,” Thornquist told NorCal Cycling News, “and ride solo as training for Worlds in Italy. [We] contacted different teams to see if any needed a guest rider. A couple of teams contacted me to say they were interested but they needed to wait on other girls.
“Several weeks before Cascade, DNA Team Director Alex Kim contacted me to say they wanted me to ride for them at Cascade.”
Then came the call for 2014.
“When DNA reached out and asked if I could race with them next year, it was an opportunity to race with a whole new set of women. I don’t know who is on the team next year but I liked the fact that this team, based out of Utah, brings on an array of sponsors and some Utah women I’ve recently come into contact with.
“I met a couple sponsors and they’re so excited to support a Women’s team. The sponsorship is amazing. To hear businesses say we want Women’s sports and want to see Women out there is exciting.
“It’s an opportunity for me to get out there and race.”
That Nor Cal Connection
Thornquist is inspired by other racers her age and looks to Felicia Gomez and Olivia Dillon for motivation. Likewise, also as an asthma-sufferer, she would like to provide inspiration for others.
“I’m older and I’m hoping that I can help motivate some of the younger women and [show them] age is just a number,” continued Thornquist. “If you have a drive and believe in yourself, your goals can really happen.
“Most of these girls are in their late twenties, early thirties and if I can be a motivation to many of them it’s great. I’m perfectly fine with getting beat and getting chewed up and spat out. Just being able to do this is amazing.”
By most standards, the former triathelete has had a rapid rise in bicycle-racing. After her first-ever race in March 2012, at the Land Park Criterium, Thornquist reached Category 1 at Masters Road Nationals some 6 months later.
This year’s results include stage race wins at Topsport and Mount Hood. There were also some impressive time trials along the way as Thornquist proved her worth amongst the top-notch competition in Northern California.
“These girls are some of the strongest in the Nation,” remarked Thornquist. “They’re strong, competent, and extremely knowledgeable about the sport. It has forced me to work hard when I’m not racing.
“I know what the weekends are going to hold and I won’t be able to hang on to the peloton if I don’t complete my workouts during the week.
“I had a bunch of goals I was shooting for this year. I wanted to break my time trial result at Sattley because that was the first time I’ve ever done a 40km time trial. So there are just certain races I would like to be better [next year].
“I had no idea I would be on the podium with Alison Powers. The time trial at Cascade is [my] best accomplishment this year. Even Alison looked at me and said ‘this is awesome you’re up here.’
“Now that I know stage racing is something I can excel at, I hope to compete in some of the stage races that DNA have set up for next year, like Redlands.”
Classifica elaborata da Winning Time
“I want to finish a season without any crashes. Last year I was taken out at Cascade. It would be nice to get through Cascade and complete the entire event. I understand crashes happen but its unfortunate.”
At this year’s Cascade, Thornquist was involved in a crash that interrupted her stage race and put into jeopardy another goal for the year, the UCI World Cycling Tour at Trento, Italy.
“It was the second race, on the Friday. We were half way into the race on a slight decline. I was working for Flavia [Oliveira] our GC rider. I was staying close to the Now girls, following a lot of their wheels.
“I remember looking over and a girl was filling in a hole like you would normally. There wasn’t quite enough room and the peloton was moving in from the right. [The rider] got hooked into my bars and next thing I know I was the first one down.
“I knew instantly something was wrong with my hip. I tried to get up and get back on my bike. There wasn’t any way. After the x-rays I was told I have four fractures in my pelvis.”
True to form in providing inspiration by showing her resilience, Thornquist made her recovery and began racing again by the Esparto Time Trial. And, despite losing a significant level of fitness, she went off to Italy to fulfill a goal for the year.
“It was one of the most difficult injuries I’ve ever had to recover from,” described Thornquist. “The mental fear I’m never going to be able to run again. The unknown is probably the most difficult.
“Being able to get back into the pool and swim I am thankful for. I couldn’t walk for a month but I was in the pool four-days after the accident. It gave me that mental release which is huge for athletes.
“The other difficulty were those comments from people in the peloton that I was a triathlete and didn’t know what I was doing and caused the crash. In a sense it’s almost difficult to ride with people that state things like that.”
Nevertheless, the reward for Thornquist’s recovery and pragmatic disregard toward her doubters was third step of the podium in Trento, along side fellow Nor Cal racer Molly Van Houweling. And the reward for NorCal is seeing Thornquist back riding, racing, and inspiring others again as she will in Northern California next year.
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