Amy D Foundation

In 2019, the Rapha Foundation was launched to build a better future for cycling by inspiring, empowering and supporting the next generation of racers. The Amy D. Foundation was awarded a grant in the first round.

Created in memory of American professional cyclist Amy Dombroski, the Amy D. Foundation encourages and supports young women in cycling. The Rapha Foundation grant enabled Daniel Dombroski – Amy’s brother and founder of the organisation set up in her name – to recruit an Executive Director who could help to make the most of their volunteer-run programs, and establish nationwide presence and impact for the Foundation. In January 2020, Julie Kuliecza was appointed in this position.

A professional cyclist herself, Kuliecza knows first hand the benefit that proper support can bring. In a professional career spanning eight years she’s not only raced but provided mentorship and coaching to up-and-coming athletes.

“The Amy D. Foundation typically looks at riders in the 18 to 25 year old range,” Kuliecza explains. “Some of the riders fall outside of that, especially with our mentorship riders. Usually we’ll have an older rider, maybe one that's maybe been on a professional team already. It gives the younger riders an experienced road captain, someone that knows what they're doing.”

As an example of this, the foundation can point to US rider Mara Abbott, who finished 4th in the 2016 Olympic road race while part of the program.

“Mara was crushing everything at home, so the team got to experience what it's like to help a rider compete for and win the general classification of races, which was really cool.”

For the most part, the Amy D. Foundation are looking for opportunities to catch young riders who wouldn’t otherwise have the support, and support them in their pursuit of elite-level goals.

“Maybe they don't have the means to actually be able to get to these races, or have the kind of professional support that's required. The mechanic, the swanny, the DS – all there in support of these riders, so they can be successful.”

As a professional racer with a long list of domestic races under her belt, Kuliecza was well aware of the Amy D. Foundation team before she made the move to support them.

“I'd always seen the Amy D. kit around. But I hadn’t fully realised the amount of badass women that have come through the program. There’s been some huge talent.”

We asked Julie for a list of up and coming riders who’ve been through the program. Here are her ones to watch:

Julie Kuliecza’s Amy D. Foundation roll of honour

Rapha Foundation

The Rapha Foundation's mission is to build a better future for the sport of cycling by inspiring, empowering and supporting the next generation of racers. We will provide direct funding to grassroots and not for profit organisations that introduce under-served audiences to the sport. We will champion these organisations and take aspiring racers on a journey from their local park to podiums at the top of the sport. We will do this all over the world.