“I signed my first professional contract with the WEBCOR Builders Pro Cycling Team for the 2006 season, after winning two collegiate conference titles and two national collegiate titles for Stanford in 2005. I’ve since raced as a professional for over a decade, honing my skill as a domestique. In addition to earning more than 60 individual race victories across 5 continents, I successfully supported American cyclists in their quests for Olympic qualification and served as lead-out and road captain for World Champions and Olympic medalists. I leverage my credibility as a professional athlete to champion cycling through inclusivity, engagement, and outreach. I’m proud to work with Cannondale, Mavic, Athlos, Bikeflights.com, Unior Bike Tools USA, and Storrs Center Cycle.”
A lifelong athlete, Amber got her start as a swimmer, setting multiple state and national records throughout high school and earning a scholarship to Stanford University. Equally dedicated to academics, she graduated high school valedictorian and was selected as a President’s Scholar at Stanford, where she earned a B.A. and M.Sc. and published two peer-reviewed journal papers.
When a shoulder injury ended her swimming career, Amber found cycling. Cutting her teeth in the competitive fields of California in her first season racing on the road, she won two national collegiate titles for Stanford, upgraded from Category 4 to Category 1 in less than 6 months, and signed her first professional contract. She has now been competing internationally at the professional (World Cup/World Tour) level for over a decade and has earned more than 60 victories and a reputation as one of the most respected domestiques in the peloton.
Having been afforded so many opportunities through sport, Amber strives to give back. She founded the non-profit organization Network For Advancing Athletes to mentor women athletes; advocates active transportation locally with Bike Mansfield; serves on the Board of Directors for the Homestretch Foundation; and helps youth cycling programs as a member of the Advisory Committee for the Connecticut Cycling Advancement Program.
Amber has swum in open water with sharks and has an h-index of 2. She rides a Cannondale Synapse and a Suzuki SV650s. She speaks French, German, and Italian, but can’t keep a plant alive to save her life. She makes a mean bolognese and is a terrible Nordic skier. In addition to pedaling, she edits research grant proposals for the University of Connecticut’s School of Engineering. Born in Berkeley, California, she is a fifth-generation Californian, grew up in Reno, Nevada, lived in Austria for 6 years, and now resides with her husband in Connecticut.
MSc, Earth Systems/Oceanography, Stanford University
BA, Human Biology/Environmental Policy, Stanford University
Valedictorian, Reno High School
Published Author (two peer-reviewed journal articles)
President’s Scholar, Stanford University
National Honors Society President, Reno High School
Valedictorian, Reno High School
Shirley Schoof Club Sports Athlete of the Year*, Stanford Cycling Team
2x Collegiate National Champion, Stanford Cycling Team
2x Collegiate Conference Champion, Stanford Cycling Team
NCAA Division I Scholarship Athlete, Stanford Women’s Swimming
Multi-time State Champion and National Champion, USA Swimming
Multi-time State Champion and National Champion, Reno High School Swimming
* Awarded by the Stanford Athletic Board Awards Committee through the Stanford Athletic Department to the “student-athlete on a club team who demonstrates outstanding leadership, exemplifies fair play/sportsmanship, achieves excellence within the sport and is committed to community service.”
Terese Karmel, Instructor and Advisor, University of Connecticut:
I teach a sportswriting class in the journalism department at the University of Connecticut. At the suggestion of a friend, I invited Amber Pierce to talk to my students about her athletic career, including her swimming years and how and why she turned to cycling. The students were enthralled with her candidness, humor and energy as she spoke to them about her life. In fact of all of the speakers I have had she ranks among the most evocative. The stories the students turned in based on their interaction with her were among the most lively and complete I have had in many semesters and I attribute this to her presentation. I cannot wait to her have her back again in subsequent semesters.
David Hoyle, Executive Director, Connecticut Cycling Advancement Program:
We are always extremely pleased to have Amber speak at CCAP events. She does a remarkable job of captivating our audiences through her passion and confidence. The clarity and conciseness of her speeches also makes it easy for everyone to follow her message. Most importantly, she adds tremendous value by helping our audiences truly connect with, understand, and feel motivated by our cause.
Tim Healion, (formerly) Executive Director, Tour de Nez Outreach:
The Tour de Nez Outreach brought Amber in on a couple occasions to help promote our company’s presence in the cycling world and as a mentor to local students. She also raced in the Tour de Nez bike race, won it, and became the unofficial spokesperson of the race. She inspired the heck out of everyone she came in contact with. She lives her life with great enthusiasm and finds great success in her endeavors. That is very evident in her presentations and work. We felt that it was a great privilege for us to have Amber work with us.