Fauquier alumnus joins pro cycling circuit

Gavin Cranford, Staff Reporter

Alumnus Joe Dombrowski has had big dreams ever since he became interested in cycling. His initial love of mountain biking has led to a career as a professional cyclist when he was picked up by Team Sky, a British cycling team. He officially became a pro in 2012 and has placed highly in a number of major races since.
“Initially I just rode mountain bikes recreationally, but I had a friend who was into mountain bike racing,” Dombrowski said. “He took me to a local summer mountain bike racing series and from there I was hooked.”
Dombrowski started cycling when he was just 14 years old. Racing is now his passion. His younger sister, sophomore Sarah Dombrowski, sees the hours of hard work and training that he puts in.
“I am really proud of him. It’s a great opportunity, and he deserves it,” Sarah Dombrowski said. “Every time he comes home he trains a lot and works really hard.”
Dombrowski is constantly on the road and racing in other countries. His family had to get used to him being away from home for long periods of time, and it took some time to adjust.
“We have been able to see Joe several times so far this year,” Dombrowski’s mother, Valerie, said. “We also plan to visit Joe this summer in France. It was an adjustment to have him move to a different country and culture.”
Valerie Dombrowski says that Skype has been a great tool to keep in touch. Dombrowski’s team will race in the Colorado Stage Race Pro Challenge, the Dombrowski family hopes to attend.
Dombrowski is considered one of the best young talents on the American bike racing scene. Team Sky is based in Manchester, England, and competes in the UCI World Tour. Along with 26 other team members, Dombrowski competes in a number of races throughout the year. His most recent accomplishment was a first place finish in the GiroBio, which is held in Italy. Dombrowski was the first American to win the race since it was founded in 1970. Despite how well he has performed recently, he continues to work on getting better.
“There’s always something you can improve on. This is my first year racing as a professional at the top level,” Dombrowski said. “This year for me is not so much about personal race results, but rather learning how to work for the team and adapting to racing at the highest level.”
Valerie Dombrowski enjoys seeing her son do what he loves, but she can’t help but worry while he is in a race.
“The best thing about Joe racing is seeing him pursue a career doing what he loves. It has enabled Joe to travel and experience many different cultures,” Valerie Dombrowski said. “The worst thing is worrying about him getting hurt.”
So far, Dombrowski has not suffered any serious injuries, and he has high hopes for his career. Right now, his focus is on taking it all in and enjoying doing what he loves.
“I’d like to have a long and happy career free of serious injury,” Dombrowski said. “Of course I dream of winning big races, but ultimately I just want to continue to do this as long as I’m physically able and still enjoying myself.”