“When she’s on the start line, she looks around and says, ‘I’m going to win this race,’ even when she’s got no business winning the race,” her brother, Dan, told me when I interviewed him for this story.
She has a fierce nature, he added.
I wanted to write about Amy when I learned that she was the only cyclist in Boulder who was invited to the World Cyclocross Championships. (Okay, we’re not as ‘cross-crazed here in Boulder as they are in Portland, but we’re getting there.) But then I learned that she’s won U-23 titles in ‘cross, road and mountain biking, and that she won the national ‘cross race in her first season of racing.
But when you meet Amy in a coffee shop rather than on the start line, she seems like a pretty normal 22-year-old. Even as she’s telling you about how she cracked for a few days when she should’ve been training in Europe’s wet, dark streets in the height of the ‘cross season there, she seems down-to-earth and so agreeable.
But if you ask her brother, or her coach, or a former teammate, they’ll give you stories of her ferocity on a bike. Rebecca Much remembers leading her out for King-of-the-Mountains points at a stage race and watching Amy rocket past her up the hill; Coach Ben Ollett sounded concerned about maintaining her motivation in the long term (since it’s so strong now, but she’s so young); and her brother said he remembers screaming at her after she terrified him slamming down a canyon road like a ski racer — no brakes, no hesitation, no fear.
The day she told me she loves to come home from a training ride so shattered that she can’t even make herself something to eat, I could see a glint of it in her eyes — she is an annihilator.